Jakov is the youngest of the seers. He was born on March 6, 1971 in Bijakovici, and was only 10 years old when the apparitions started. His prayer mission given by Our Lady is to pray for the sick. Jakovs' mother Jaca, died on September 5th 1983 and it affected Jakov very deeply since he rarely saw his father who worked in Germany as many men did in those days with no jobs available in Medjugorje or the surrounding area.
|Marija comes from a family of eight, with three brothers and two sisters. She grew up at the foot of Apparition Mountain, just down the road from Vicka’s house. She was born on April 1, 1965, and was 16 when the apparitions began. Marija is described in all the books of Medjugorje as deeply spiritual, prayerful, meek, sensitive and humble. Rarely do you read of the wonderful sense of humor Marija possesses or her radiant joy, or her ability to make total strangers feel as though they are really long lost friends. These attributes are just as much a part of Marija’s character as the prayerfulness and serenity that have always been told about her.
The feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the parish of Medjugorje was permeated with a unique and exceptional spiritual atmosphere. The multitude of faithful prepared itself for that feast day with a strict nine-day fast and long recollected prayer. The main idea of the highly attended devotional novena was to draw closer to the Immaculate Virgin with a heart as pure as possible.
In the first days of the apparitions, we really competed with each other, seeing who could pray more rosaries each day. That was unhealthy competition. Although Our Lady was exhorting us to pray not that way, but with our hearts, we did not understand what it meant to pray with the heart. That night she said to us, "This evening, before you start praying, you should all forgive one another." We thought, "That's something simple, we do that in every Holy Mass!" But by no means was it easy; it was quite an effort. It meant that everyone who had built up hostilities within his heart had to give them to God immediately with love and joy. I explained what Our Lady's request meant and asked all the faithful if they understood. Everyone said yes, but no one did anything. We felt as if we were in a desert, and we were even a little afraid. Moreover, Our Lady would not allow us to pray until we had personally reconciled with each other - until we had forgiven each other from our hearts. A silence came over us; it seemed to last forever. We suffered a desert-like anguish, and it grew later and later.
Our Lady appears to six visionaries, which can see her and talk with her during regular apparitions. During some of these apparitions, Our Lady gives messages. One of most frequented topics of these messages are appeals for prayers and love.
On June 24, 1981 at around 6pm six little children went outside of Medjugorje on a little hill named Podbrdo, or locally known as Crnica.
Those children were Ivanka Ivanković, Mirjana Dragičević, Vicka Ivanković, Ivan
Dragičević, Ivan Ivanković and Milka Pavlović. While there, they saw a beautiful, young woman holding a baby in her arms. She never said anything that day, but tried to show them with her hands to come closer to her. The children got very scared and ran away, although they all thought they saw Virgin Mary.
Supernatural signs are a method God has used throughout history to know Him and to bring His children to conversion. It is a way God speaks to us or to incite our hearts to believe and come to Him. Yet, Jesus once said:
“An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.”
Yet still, Our Lady says:
March 25, 1990
“…God wants to save you and sends you messages through men, nature, and so many things which can only help you to understand that you must change the direction of your life…”