Medjugorje is a small mountain village in Bosnia-Hercegovina, the former Yugoslavia. Since the first apparition of the Gospa to six children on June 24, 1981 on the hill of Podbrdo of Mount Crnica (now called Apparition Hill), the entire region has been caught in the controversy of the apparitions and the messages of Gospa.
Why this small village was chosen by the Blessed Mother to be the place she would again repeat her messages of Lourdes and Fatima.. that of peace and prayer.. are a divine mystery. Certainly nothing in the history of Medjugorje suggested that in this communist nation would be a fertile place to encourage prayer, conversion and devotion to God. Bosnia-Hercegovina is multi-ethnic claiming Serbs, Croats, and over 30 percent Muslims. The disintegration of Yugoslavia in 1991 led Bosnia and Hercegovina to declare its independence along with Croatia, Slovenia and Macedonia.
How did the village of Medjugorje survive the horrors of war?
|Just as the area of Herzegovina stretches from the coast to high mountain-land, so too the belts of woodland correspond to the different levels above the sea. During the winter, or during the summer drought when the vegetation completely dies out, some Herzegovinian landscapes look like a Karst desert.|
At the time of Our Lady’s first appearance, the people of the village under Communism lived simple, frugal lives. Many of the men who survived WW II were debilitated and little able to work; however, many of the younger men worked in Germany, United States, or Italy, sending money home to their families. Each family had a garden and struggled to grow food in the stubborn, unfertile soil. They grew small crops of tobacco and grapes, as well, plowing the fields with antique two-furrow plows and a faithful horse. The farmer scattered natural manure coarsely with a dung fork while his wife or children followed behind to chop and spread it, for everyone worked in the all-important cultivation of crops. Even so, the family’s income was meager since they sold their products for a low price set by the Communist government.
Domestic animals and chickens wandered over the dirt roads where children ran and played. The overall scene in the village remained quiet, seemingly caught in a perpetual pause in a filming of time. Life in Sarajevo or Dubrovnik moved more swiftly, but some of the villagers had never strayed that far from the hills and security of home.
Dr. fra Slavko Barbaric
I. MAN IN HIS SEARCH FOR GOD
Pilgrimages are known in all religions. They are an expression of a person who searches for God in places where He has revealed Himself in a special way; where He has offered persons the possibility to feel His presence more easily or with particularly gifted persons, who - through their gifts - have become a special sign of God's presence. This is why there are places of pilgrimage which attract people and where they come in their search to experience God in a new manner, that is, to experience peace, joy, love and hope. With each pilgrimage, a person leaves behind his everyday life, his work, his family, his friends, his security and - longing for a new encounter with God - starts on his journey to places and to people who have proven themselves as "gifted", so as to help him in his new experience with God.
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".
Instead it is located in southern part of Bosnia Herzegovina, which used to be a former republic of Yugoslavia. Medjugorje is not located in Yugoslavia nor Croatia, such even today some people still think. Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in Southern Europe and it's capital city is Sarajevo. Bosnia and Herzegovina is surrounded by Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia. Medjugorje is located between the city (20 km) of Mostar and coastside of Adriatic sea (part across the Peljesac Peninsula). It's in relative close location to Croatian coastal cities of Dubrovnik and Split.
Medjugorje is a small town in south Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is located on Bakan peninsula, in the southeastern Europe.
Bosnia and Herzegovina borders with Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro. It has an area of 51,129 square kilometers, and is almost landlocked except for the 26 kilometers of the Adriatic Sea coastline, around the country’s town Neum.
Official languages in Bosnia and Herzegovina are Croatian, Bosnian and Serbian. The country’s capital is Sarajevo.
The parish was founded in late 1892 and is dedicated to St. James the Apostle, protector of pilgrims.
Medjugorje currently inhabits about 4300 residents.
I have tried with this FAQ to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about Medjugorje. The answers are made to be short, simple and to the point. I did not want to make this page too lengthy. I hope that you find it useful. Please also realize that this page is not meant to be a catechesis on the Catholic faith. There is lots of information available which explains our rich Catholic Faith. Rather, these questions focus more directly on Medjugorje. Please also refer to our page "About Medjugorje".