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The Eighth Day

Father Jozo Zovko, in an interview with Fr. Svetozar on August 11, 1983, spoke about the eighth day and what was, for him, the first sign from God which led him to believe in the apparitions. Jozo: “I was in anguish because of all the events. It was at this time that something began to happen in me which led me to become more than just a listener to the children's reports. People from the government service were brought in to put a stop to the events. Those who were believers did not do it happily. The two girls who had experienced the events in Crno resigned because of their own experience. Sometime in the middle of the day the police came to find the children, to try to stop them after the two girls had failed. They wanted to remove them from the hill and from the people. They asked throughout the village where the children were. The people responded in various ways; in the fields, in the village, here, there. Meanwhile, the children, who knew they were being sought, were running from the village through the vineyards, toward the church…while all this was going on, I was in the church praying, feeling great responsibility in front of God as pastor…No one was in the church with me at that moment…While I was praying, I heard a voice say, ‘Come out and protect the children.’ I left my Bible and breviary, genuflected and with no further thought or delay, I left the church. As I was leaving the church through the middle door, with my foot still in the air and the door handle in my hand, the children ran toward me from the left side of the church, escaping from the police. They told me, ‘The police are chasing us. Hide us!’ They had gathered around me and were crying. Ana, Vicka's sister, was with them, sharing their fate. I embraced the children and took them to the rectory. I locked them in an unoccupied room of the house….I asked them to stay in the rectory so that they would not be caught. Shortly after Our Lady came to them in the room.” Word got to the pilgrims who were going to the hill that there would be a service in the Church. Around 5:00 p.m. Father Zrinko Cuvalo, the associate pastor, led the prayer of the Rosary and at 6:00, Father Jozo, the pastor, celebrated Mass. Of this first evening Mass, Father Jozo commented: “There is nothing to which I could compare the number of people in the church. It was so crowded that I found it impossible to extend my hands and say, 'The Lord be with you.' In the homily I asked the people to pray and to fast, begging God to help us to understand the events in our parish. That mass of people responded to my request with a great exclamation, full of faith, ‘We will.’ In that Mass, I wanted the people to cease being spectators and become participants in the events.” In reality, this is what has happened. The spectators became the participants. The experience of the children, the visionaries, in a very special way becomes the expe¬rience of the pilgrims, as they come to the church, pray the Rosary and join in the celebration of Mass.


Source: (Adapted from The Apparitions of Our Lady at Medjugorje by Father Svetozar Kraljevic, 3rd edition published by Informativni Centar, Mir, 2005.)


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