For nearly 39 years, it is said that Mary, the Mother of God has been appearing on earth daily.
If this is true, what an extraordinary and incomparable grace God is giving the world?!
But, what are we to believe?
Do we not look to the Church for guidance? And if to the Church, is not the Pope the highest authority?
Therefore, let us look to what the Holy Fathers have said and done (who have been alive during the time of these reported apparitions) for guidance:
Most recently, what has Pope Francis done regarding Medjugorje?
Pope Francis installed his official representative in Medjugorje, an Apostolic Visitor, Archbishop Hoser, to live there in 2018 indefinitely, after first being sent to Medjugorje in 2017 to study it for 3 months. His reports are glowing.
Pope Francis announced in May 2019 that Bishops and priests are free to lead their dioceses and parishes on pilgrimages to Medjugorje.
What did Pope Benedict XVI do regarding Medjugorje?
As prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, before he became Pope, he established a Yugoslavian Bishops Commission to study Medjugorje – taking away all authority from the local bishop in 1986, following Bishop Zanic’s rejection of years of scientific study that supported the apparitions and his subsequent negative decision that he submitted. Instead of accepting the negative decision by the bishop, Cardinal Ratzinger dissolves the bishop’s diocesan Commission, and convenes a new Commission of all the Yugoslavian Bishops in the region.
• According to Bishop Zanic, Cardinal Ratzinger told him forthright: “No, you are going to dissolve your diocesan commission. The verdict is transferred to the Bishops Conference.”
As Pope Benedict XVI, he established a Vatican Commission to further study the reported ongoing apparitions. The report of the 4-year long Papal Commission overwhelming voted to declare the first 7 days of apparitions as supernatural. With the apparitions ongoing, no specific determination was made for the rest. The commission also cited that Medjugorje should be considered a Marian Shrine.
What did St. Pope John Paul II say regarding Medjugorje?
St. John Paul II personally believed in Medjugorje and spoke highly about it with Bishops and priests, stating such things as:
- Mary’s coming to Medjugorje was an answer to his prayers.
- Medjugorje is the continuation and extension of Fatima.
- The fall of Communism in Poland should not be credited to him; but it is the work of Mary in Medjugorje and Fatima.
- “Today people have lost the supernatural. They find it in Medjugorje.”
- “Medjugorje is the Spiritual Heart of the World” and “the Hope of the World”
- “Our Lady of Medjugorje will save America!”
1988: “Pray for me in Medjugorje. […] Medjugorje is the spiritual heart of the world.” (Pope John Paul II to bishop of Florianopolis (Brazil), Maurillo Kreiger)
August 1, 1989 address by the Pope to a group of Italian physicians dedicated to defending unborn life and to making scientific and medical studies on the apparition, [at which they lamented to Pope John Paul II of the Bishop Zanic’s rejection of their findings]:
“Today the world has lost the supernatural. Many people sought it and found it in Medjugorje through prayer, fasting, and through confession.”
Reported by Bishop Paul Hnilica, SJ, Auxiliary Bishop of Rome, who then added: “For me personally, this is the strongest explicit witness about Medjugorje…The Pope, for his part, recognized … supernatural events are really at work in Medjugorje. Through many sources, the Pope came to the conviction that God can be experienced in this place.”
Mirjana Soldo, one of the visionaries attests to her meeting with St. John Paul II in her book. She speaks of their conversation, saying that John Paul II said:
• “Please ask the pilgrims in Medjugorje to pray for my intentions…I know all about Medjugorje I’ve followed the messages from the beginning. Please, tell me what it’s like for you when Our Lady appears.”
• “Take good care of Medjugorje, Mirjana. Medjugorje is the hope for the entire world.”
• “If I were not the pope, I would have gone to Medjugorje a long time ago.”
• She writes: “I will never forget the love that radiated from the Holy Father. What I felt with him is similar to what I feel when I am with Our Lady, and looking into his eyes was just like looking into hers.
• Later, a priest told me that the pope had been interested in Medjugorje from the very beginning, because right before our apparitions started, he had been praying for Our Lady to appear again on Earth.
“I cannot do it all alone, Mother,” he prayed. “In Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Poland and so many other communist countries, people cannot freely practice their faith. I need your help, dear Mother.”
According to this priest, when the pope heard that Our Lady had appeared in a tiny village in a communist country, he immediately thought Medjugorje had to be an answer to his prayers.
[John Paul II was shot on May 13, 1981 – the reported Marian Apparitions in Medjugorje began on June 24, 1981 – just a little over a month later.]
The Church also tells us to judge apparitions by their fruits and their faithfulness to the teachings of the Church.
Here are the fruits and the messages:
Approximately 50 million people have traveled to Medjugorje since its beginnings in 1981. They speak of it as being the place of untold peace, a place where heaven has come down to earth.
Reports of innumerable conversions and hundreds (if not thousands) of vocations from Medjugorje are undeniable.
Liturgical life is the center of Medjugorje and is at the center of the reported messages of Our Blessed Mother, who asks us to make Mass the center of our lives, to pray the rosary and read Scripture daily with the heart, to fast twice a week, and to confess our sins at least once a month.
She is said to have first appeared on the feast of St. John the Baptist. In essence she comes to bring souls back to Jesus, back to God, back to His Church in this time of unparalleled unbelief and darkness, she is voice crying out in the wilderness to prepare the way of the Lord, saying: “Repent and Believe in the Gospel. The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand.”
Some of her first reported words were:
“I have come to tell you God exists.
“My dear children, I am with you. I am your Mother. Do not be afraid of anything. I will protect you. I will help you. I will guide you.”…
“I am the Queen of Peace, and I have come my dear children, because my Son has sent me to help you. My dear children, peace, peace and only peace. My dear children, there must be peace. Peace must reign on this earth. My dear children, peace must reign between God and man and among people. My dear children, this world and this humanity is finding itself in a great danger and there is a threat that it will destroy itself.”
Now it is up to each of us to decide. If God is really sending his Mother to us daily, do you not think He would like us to respond?
Wouldn’t this be the most unfathomable gift?!
Dear Jesus, may we never reject you or those you send as your messengers. Amen.
For more references and information see:
of the Apostolic Visitor in Medjugorje: “Sign of a Great Respect and
Recognition … The Act Through Which the Church Officially Recognized
the Good Fruits of Medjugorje”
© Janet Moore 2020. All Rights Reserved.