~ An Article on Medjugorje.org, the best English website on Medjugorje ~
Since 1981, in a small village in Bosnia-Hercegovina named Medjugorje, the Blessed Virgin Mary has been appearing and giving messages to the world. She tells us that God has sent Her to our world, and these years She is spending with us are a time of Grace granted by God. In Her own words She tells us, "I have come to tell the world that God exists. He is the fullness of life, and to enjoy this fullness and peace, you must return to God".
Our Lady's mission is one of peace. She has come to earth to reeducate us and to help us convert and recenter our lives back to God. Our Lady's role has always been one of guiding people to Her Son, Jesus. What an amazing opportunity we have before us! Our Lady's call to conversion is urgent, and we should respond with all our hearts.
Our Lady continues to give messages to six people from the village of Medjugorje: Ivan, Jakov, Marija, Mirjana, Vicka, and Ivanka. These six people (referred to as "visionaries") have received apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary since June 24, 1981. In addition to Her public messages, Our Lady is to give each of the six visionaries a total of ten "secrets" of happenings that will occur on earth in the near future. Some of the secrets pertain to the whole world while others concern the visionaries themselves or the local village. Only one of the secrets has so far been revealed by the visionaries. In the third secret Our Lady has promised to leave a supernatural, indestructible, and visible sign on the mountain where she first appeared. Our Lady said: "This sign will be given for the atheists. You faithful already have signs and you have become the sign for the atheists. You faithful must not wait for the sign before you convert; convert soon. This time is a time of grace for you. You can never thank God enough for His grace. The time is for deepening your faith, and for your conversion. When the sign comes, it will be too late for many."
When each of the six visionaries has received all ten "secrets", Our Lady will stop appearing to them on a daily basis. Currently, Marija, Vicka, and Ivan have received nine secrets, and Our Lady still appears to them every day, wherever they are, at 6:40pm. Mirjana, Jakov, and Ivanka have received all ten secrets, and Our Lady appears to them once per year for the rest of their lives. For Ivanka who received her 10th secret on May 7, 1985 it is on the anniversary of the apparitions, June 25 each year. For Jakov who received his 10th secret on September 12, 1998, it is on Christmas day each year. And for Mirjana who received her 10th secret on Christmas 1982, it is on her birthday, March 18 each year. Our Lady has also appeared to Mirjana on the 2nd of each month from August 2, 1987 until March 2, 2020, for the purpose of praying for all unbelievers. Mirjana tells us that it is very important that all of us pray for the unbelievers in the world, who are described as those who have not yet experienced God's love. No one knows when Our Lady will give the tenth secret to Marija, Ivan, and Vicka.
Once Our Lady has stopped appearing there will be three warnings given to the world. These warnings will be in the form of events on earth. They will occur within Mirjana's lifetime, and Mirjana will be a witness to them. Ten days before each of the warnings, she will advise the priest she chose for this task (Father Petar Ljubicic), who will then pray and fast with Mirjana for seven days. Then, three days before each warning is to take place, Fr. Petar will announce to the world what, where, and when the warning will take place. Fr. Petar has no choice, and must reveal each warning. After the first warning, the other two will follow in a rather short period of time. That interval will be a period of great grace and conversion. After the permanent, visible, supernatural, and indestructible sign appears on the mountain where Our Lady first appeared in Medjugorje, there will be little time for conversion. For that reason, the Blessed Virgin invites us to urgent conversion and reconciliation. The permanent sign will lead to many healings and conversions before the secrets become reality. According to Mirjana, the events predicted by the Blessed Virgin are near. By virtue of this experience, Mirjana proclaims to the world: 'Hurry, be converted; open your hearts to God.'
The ninth and tenth secrets are serious. They concern chastisement for the sins of the world. Punishment is inevitable, for we cannot expect the whole world to be converted. The punishment can be diminished by prayer and penance, but it cannot be eliminated. Mirjana says that one of the evils that threatened the world, the one contained in the seventh secret, has been averted, thanks to prayer and fasting. That is why the Blessed Virgin continues to encourage prayer and fasting: "You have forgotten that with prayer and fasting you can ward off wars, suspend natural laws."
In addition to this basic message, Mirjana related an apparition she had in 1982, which sheds some light on certain aspects of Church history. She spoke of an apparition in which satan appeared to her, and asked Mirjana to renounce Our Lady and to follow him. By doing so she could be happy in love and in life. He added that following Our Lady would only lead to suffering. Mirjana rejected him, and immediately Our Lady appeared and Satan disappeared. Then Our Lady gave Mirjana the following message:
"Excuse me for this, but you must realize that Satan exists. One day he appeared before the throne of God and asked permission to submit the Church to a period of trial. God gave him permission to try the Church for one century. This century is under the power of the devil; but when the secrets confided to you come to pass, his power will be destroyed. Even now he is beginning to lose his power and has become aggressive. He is destroying marriages, creating divisions among priests and is responsible for obsessions and murder. You must protect yourselves against these things through fasting and prayer, especially community prayer. Carry blessed objects with you. Put them in your house, and restore the use of holy water."
According to certain Catholic experts who have studied these apparitions, this message of Mirjana may shed light on the vision Pope Leo XIII had. According to them, it was after having had an apocalyptic vision of the future of the Church that Leo XIII introduced the prayer to Saint Michael, which priests used to recite after Mass up to the time of the Second Vatican Council. These experts say that the century of trials foreseen by Leo XIII is about to end.
Since the apparitions began in 1981, approximately 40 million people of all faiths, from all over the world, have visited Medjugorje and have left spiritually strengthened and renewed. Many bring back stories of miracles in the form of healings (of mind, body and spirit), supernatural visual signs, and deep conversions back to God. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones, to investigate with an open mind and heart the messages which are given to us by Our Lady of Medjugorje. I invite you to read these messages and decide for yourself how they will affect your life and that of your family.
Our Lady's messages are meant to be assembled like a mosaic. To understand the full meaning and depth of these messages, we need to study all of the messages She has given us over these last 33+ years. "By means of the messages, I wish to make a very beautiful mosaic in your hearts." (November 25, 1989). Our Lady has asked that we continually read, study, and meditate on the messages which She has given us. She said: "Little children, read every day the messages I gave you and transform them into life. I love you and this is why I call you to the way of salvation with God." (December 25, 1989).
The technique of teaching which Our Lady uses, reeducates us to be Christians. She accomplishes this by walking with us, and guiding us step by step, message by message. Today, many people think it is not important to be a Christian. Others want to live a superficial form of Christianity which is easier or more convenient than living a true Christian life. Our Lady wants to show us through Her messages the real face of Christianity. This is a long process because we as a society have strayed far from the truth and God and are slow to learn. This is true both in the Church and outside the Church. We have to accept being totally reeducated, little by little, by the Mother of God. The problem with mankind is not so much that people have bad intentions; there are plenty of good-hearted people. The problem is that we sometimes don't see the truth; we are in darkness, and many of us are just blind. We do not realize that we have put ourselves into the hands of satan because we do not know how to tell the difference between right and wrong. Many of us become an image of satan without even knowing it.
I don't think that anyone could argue, regardless of religious orientation, that today's world is in a state of crisis. All one has to do is read the newspaper or watch television to be see how eroded the morals of our world have become. It is shocking to see and hear the examples of terrorism, inhumanity, cruelty, violence, abuse, drugs, war, crime, etc., etc. Much of the world has strayed far from a life centered around God and family. The answers which we need to redirect our life can be found by reading and living Our Lady's messages and Scripture.
"You are ready to commit sin, and to put yourselves in the hands of satan without reflecting." (May 25, 1987)
"Do not allow satan to gain control of your hearts, so you would be an image of satan and not of me." (January 30, 1986)
"Children, darkness reigns over the whole world. People are attracted by many things and they forget about the more important."
"Light won't reign in the world until people accept Jesus, until they live His words, which is the Word of the Gospel."
"Dear children, this is the reason for my presence among you for such a long time: to lead you on the path of Jesus. I want to save you and, through you, to save the whole world. Many people now live without faith; some don't even want to hear about Jesus, but they still want peace and satisfaction! Children, here is the reason why I need your prayer: prayer is the only way to save the human race." (July 30, 1987)
We must realize that Satan is real. He uses us for his own end and purposes. His main purpose is destruction. Destruction of love, peace, faith, family, and life. Just as God gave David 5 stones with which to defeat Goliath, Our Lady is also giving us 5 Stones or Weapons we can use to defeat satan. They are:
Daily Prayer (Of the Rosary)
Fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays
Daily Reading of the Bible