Marian Apparitions of Medjugorje: Under Investigation
Some 2.5 million people travel annually because of these Blessed Mother visions — but others have their doubts
The miracles of Medjugorje have left some people enthralled and others skeptical. Many people have claimed to have seen Marian apparitions — or supernatural appearances of the Virgin Mary — in this Bosnia-Herzegovina town.
“The supernatural events in Medjugorje reportedly began in 1981, when six children claimed they had seen the Virgin Mary in the form of Our Lady Queen of Peace,” as Cruxnow.com reported.
The apparitions convey a message of peace for the world, and a call to conversion, prayer and fasting.
Medjugorje has since become a popular place for pilgrimages, with 2.5 million people traveling there each year.
The six individuals still claim to regularly see the apparitions. Three say they see the supernatural appearance daily.
“According to the alleged visionaries, the apparitions conveyed a message of peace for the world, a call to conversion, prayer and fasting, as well as certain secrets surrounding events to be fulfilled in the future,” as reported by the Catholic News Agency.
Journalist Randall Sullivan — a former atheist — even became a believer in the miracles after undergoing his own experience there, according to Marshall Connolly of Catholic.org. Sullivan wrote a book about his investigation into Marian apparitions that took him to Bosnia.
Some are not on board with these miracles — and question their validity.
“These are not true apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” local Catholic Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar-Duvno said in a Feb. 26 statement.
The bishop added, “The female figure who supposedly appeared in Medjugorje behaves in a manner completely different from the real Virgin Mother of God in the apparitions currently recognized as authentic by the Church.” Peric claims the supernatural appearance of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje usually “does not speak first, she laughs in a strange way … Before some questions she disappears and appears again” and “she obeys the ‘visionaries.'”
Pope Francis recently sent his entourage to scope out the pastoral needs of the town. Francis sent Polish Archbishop Henryk Hoser of Warsaw-Praga to Medjugorje.
"It is not my task to discuss whether these phenomena are true or not, because the church has not yet defined them," Archbishop Hoser said. "This is the work of the commission," which now-retired Pope Benedict XVI established in 2010, the Catholic News Service reported.
The Catholic Church has not confirmed the miracles at Medjugorje.
"The apparitions are under investigation by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is to submit its final document to the pope for a final decision," the Catholic News Agency noted.