ABC News 20/20, Caritas, and its founder worked together on a special piece about Medjugorje for the 20/20 news program. This later resulted in the one hour documentary with Martin Sheen. After months of interviews, the name of the documentary became known as “The Lasting Sign”, a name signifying a wonderful, tremendous miracle to appear upon Apparition Hill directly by God.
The third secret of Medjugorje is to be a Lasting Sign. The visionaries are not able to say what the sign will be, but they have said that it will be a permanent sign, beautiful and indestructible, and all who come to Medjugorje will be able to see it. The following are the visionaries own words explaining what they can about the third secret:
Martin Sheen, during the interviews for “The Lasting Sign,” asked Ivan the following question:
Martin Sheen: “So many people have heard of the prediction of a sign that will occur evidently here in Medjugorje that will confirm that these apparitions have, in fact, been taking place with you and your friends and the Holy Mother. Any ideas of what this sign might be?”
Ivan: “We know the sign and when it will be and what it will be. It will be on the place of the apparitions, where Our Lady appeared for the first time, and all the rest is a secret.” 1
Vicka, during an interview by Fr. Janko Bubalo:
Janko: “Tell me where the Virgin will give that sign.
Vicka: “On Podbrdo. At the sight of the first apparitions.
Janko: “Will the sign be in the Heavens or on earth?
Vicka: “On earth.
Janko: “Will it appear spontaneously, or will it gradually appear?
Janko: “Will everyone be able to see it?
Vicka: “Whoever comes here will.
Janko: “Will the sign be temporary, or will it be permanent?
Janko: “Will the sign be able to be destroyed by anyone?
Vicka: “By no one.
Janko: “You think that or…
Vicka: “The Virgin said so.
Janko: “Do you know exactly what the sign will be?
Janko: “Do you know when the Virgin will make it evident to the rest of us?
Vicka: “I know that also.
Janko: “And why is the Virgin leaving the sign here?
Vicka: “Why to show the people that She is here among us…I’ll just say this: whoever does not believe without a sign will not believe with a sign. And, I’ll tell you this too: woe to him who delays his conversion, waiting for the sign. I once told you that many would come, and perhaps, even kneel before the sign, but will, nonetheless, not believe. Be happy that you are not among them!”2
The following is part of Padre Livio’s interview with Vicka on January 2, 2008 on Radio Maria:
Question: “I was really struck by what the Madonna said about the third secret, which concerns the sign on the mountain. You seers said that it will be a visible sign, an indestructible sign that comes from God. However, She also added, ‘Hurry and convert yourselves. When the promised sign on the hill will be given, it will be too late.’ Another time, She also said, ‘And even after I’ve left this sign on the hill which I have promised to you, many will not believe. They will come to the hill, they will kneel, but they won’t believe.’ Why is it, in your opinion, that people will see the sign, but they won’t convert?
Vicka: “The third secret is about a sign that She will leave here [Medjugorje] on the Mountain of the Apparitions. This sign will remain forever. It is given above all for those people who are still far away from God. The Madonna wishes to give these people who will see the sign a chance to believe in God. I was able to see this sign.
Question: “You have already seen the sign?
Vicka: “Yes, I saw it in a vision.
Question: “Jakov once said, in an interview with Radio Maria, that in order to see the sign it will be necessary to come here to Medjugorje, is that true?
Vicka: “Yes, it’s true. The sign will remain on Podbrdo, and one will have to come here to see it. This sign will be indestructible and will remain in that place forever. I want to say about those people who will see it and not believe, the Madonna leaves everyone free to believe or not, but those are ones whose hearts are too closed. It’s the same thing as the Madonna said to us, ‘If one wants to go to Heaven, he will go to Heaven. If one wants to go to hell, he will go to hell.’ Those people who are far away from God and do not want to believe, they will not believe in the sign. For those who do not know God, but have good intentions and a desire to love, they will be benefitted by the sign. But I think that those who do everything against God, they will run away from the sign. They will not believe.
Question: “So, this is a time of grace. This is the time of conversion. The Madonna said, ‘Don’t wait for the sign in order to convert yourselves.’ So why leave a sign like some last extreme help: is it in order to move the Church to recognize the apparitions as authentic?
Vicka: “Yes, certainly it will be for the Church, so that they will have no doubt that the Madonna had been among us, and it is also for those who are still far away from God. So the Madonna is thinking about both groups of people, and then it is up to us how to be ready to respond to Her call through the sign. Everyone who comes, who will see, you know, you can say, ‘I don’t believe it’ and that is your personal idea, that’s what you believe, but that the Madonna is here, that She is present, that She leaves this sign, a sign that no man can make; it is something only God can make and so nobody will be able say that it is a small thing or something else. This arrives in such a way that they won’t have words to say what it is.
Question: “So, in essence, the discourse is this: the Madonna urges us to convert. She tells us not to wait for the sign on the mountain in order to convert, and in any event, ‘all the secrets that I have confided will be realized and also the visible sign will be made manifest. When the sign comes, for many it will already be too late.’ What does that mean?
Vicka: “The Madonna did not explain why it will be too late and I did not ask, She only said that we are now living in a time of grace.
Question: “So, it is important to convert before the sign is made manifest?
Vicka: “Every day the Madonna calls us to conversion, to the conversion of our hearts, you understand? And 27 and a half years later the Madonna is still among us and our hearts are still too closed, too distant. I don’t know. I don’t know what it could be, but ‘too late’ seems right.”3
Mirjana spoke at a Marian Conference in Chicago in 1998. She was asked the following question about the Lasting Sign:
Question: “Has Our Lady given any indication that She will leave a sign or miracle at Medjugorje as She did at Fatima?
Mirjana: “Yes, Our Lady will leave a sign at the Hill of Apparitions, and everybody will see that She was truly present there and that it’s something from God. And the sign will be something that when you see it, it will be clear that it could not have been created by human hands. But you won’t see it from America, you’ll have to come there to see it. Pilgrims from the United States often ask me if we will be able to see it from home or will we have to go there to see it.”4
In a series of other interviews, the visionaries were asked questions about the Lasting Sign. The following is their responses:
Question: “Mirjana, what, if anything, are you permitted to tell us about the Ten Secrets?
Mirjana: “The first two secrets come as advance warnings for the whole world and as proof that the Blessed Mother is here in Medjugorje.
Question: “And the third secret?
Mirjana: “The third secret will be a visible sign at Medjugorje – permanent, indestructible, and beautiful.”5
Question: “For clarification purposes, the great sign for all non-believers, will it take place on Apparition Mountain behind us or where will it take place?
Marija: “Our Lady told us that She will leave the sign on the Hill of the Apparitions.
Question: “Is there anything you can tell us about the sign the Blessed Mother has promised to leave us?
Marija: “It will be a visible sign for all the unbelievers to see. But, for those that already believe, they do not need a sign.”6
Question: “You and the other visionaries have indicated that there will be advanced signs [signs preceding the great sign] in many places in the world to warn the world. When will these advanced signs begin?
Marija: “There are signs in many places in the world now. Many people see luminary signs. Many experience personal healings, both physical and spiritual, and also psychological. Many have private signs. People have come here from all over the world. Often they have or have had extraordinary signs in their lives.
Question: “Will all people on earth believe in God, in the Blessed Mother when the permanent sign occurs?
Marija: “The Blessed Mother has said that those who are still alive when the permanent sign comes will witness many conversions among the people because of the sign, but She also says blessed are those who do not see but who believe.
Question: “Mirjana told me that there will still be some unbelievers even when the permanent sign comes.
Marija: “The Blessed Mother has said there will always be Judases.
Question: “Vicka told me that there is great urgency in the Blessed Mother’s call to immediate conversion. She said that for those who only marginally believe, who choose to wait for the great sign to believe, it will be too late. Do you know why it will be too late for them?
Marija: “This is a time of great grace and mercy. Now is the time to listen to these messages and to change our lives. Those who do will never be able to thank God enough.”7
Question: “Do you know when the permanent sign is coming, Jakov?
Jakov: “Yes. When the permanent sign comes, people will come here from all over the world in even larger numbers. Many more will believe.
Question: “Will all people believe because of the permanent sign, Jakov?
Jakov: “The Blessed Mother said that there will still be some who will not believe even after the permanent sign comes.
Question: “Do you know what the permanent sign is, Jakov?
Question: “Can you tell us anything about it?
Jakov: “It will be something that has never been on the earth before.
Question: “Jakov, why will some still not believe?
Jakov: “They will not put themselves in a position to be converted.”8
Question: “Do you know when the permanent sign is going to come?
Question: “Is it going to be in your lifetime?
Question: “When the permanent sign comes, will everybody in the whole world believe because of the sign?
Ivan: “I don’t know.
Question: “What happens to those people who don’t really believe enough right now to convert and want to wait until the permanent sign comes?
Ivan: “For those people, it will be too late. The Blessed Mother says that is why God is giving so much time for these apparitions, so that all may come to conversion. She wants to make certain that all people have this opportunity. She can’t help anybody who doesn’t want to change, who doesn’t come back to God, who doesn’t put God first. If you don’t do this now, it will be too late.”9
1. “The Lasting Sign” Caritas of Birmingham Documentary
2. A Thousand Encounters with the Blessed Virgin Mary in Medjugorje, Fr. Janko Bubalo
3. “Radio Maria”, Padre Livio’s interview, January 2, 2008
4. Talk given by Mirjana on September 13, 1998 at Chicago Marian Conference
5. Queen of the Cosmos, by Janice T. Connell, p. 28
6. “Caritas of Birmingham Newsletter”, June/October 1992
7. The Visions of the Children, Janice T.Connell
9. Queen of the Cosmos, by Janice T. Connell