The Hidden Child of Medjugorje, by Sister Emmanuel, another Spirit-filled work by a sister who has spent years in the extraordinary village and who unearths remarkable accounts and lessons you will see nowhere else -- from spiritual lessons and miracles of an old prophecies from a  former villager. She is also the author of Freed and Healed Through Fasting. Read about an old 'eccentric' man who seemed to predict Medjugorje decades before it occurred and about those who have visited and come back with miracles beyond any comprehension!  CLICK HERE



We give air to alleged apparitions as well as the prophetic pulse and there are a number of items here, the first of which involves the internationally famous site of Medjugorje in Hercegovina.

There, as we reported before, rumors have been floating for some time that a Vatican commission examining the apparitions (which have been ongoing since 1981) may be filing a report with Benedict XVI -- or at least the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith -- by the end of the year.

Without quoting sources, a French magazine has claimed the Vatican Commission on Medjugorje will publish its findings this year," notes reporter Jakob Marschner, of Medjugorje Today. "But neither Medjugorje’s parish office nor the Diocese of Mostar have been informed that a date of publication is near, and the claim seems baseless so far. Despite a widespread circulation of French news reports, there are few signs of an approaching publication of results from the Vatican Commission on Medjugorje now as there were last month or week." A Vatican spokesman said Wednesday that it will be "a long time" before a report is filed, which should end the rumors for the time being.

The rumors are alternately repeated (this month in the French magazine La Vie) and denied (with one account earlier in the year saying that any Church report would not come until sometime next year). Months ago, in February, stirrings of an imminent conclusion to the study were generated by Cardinal Vinko Puljic of Sarajevo, who has seemed anxious to wrap the work up and indicated that a report was in sight, sooner than originally expected. Cardinal Puljic is a member of the commission, which is chaired by Cardinal Camillo Ruini of Italy. When we interviewed Cardinal Puljic years ago -- while the apparitions were being studied under a national commission he had chaired -- the cardinal told us that no final decision on Medjugorje was likely until the apparitions came to a halt (three of the six seers still allegedly experience daily apparitions, while the other three receive visitations at varied intervals). Cardinal Puljic's viewpoint was expressed, however, before the Vatican took the matter -- which has international repercussions -- into its own hands. The issue had been relegated to two different national commissions after Medjugorje was likewise removed from the authority of the local diocesan bishop in Mostar (in 1987) by the Vatican under Pope John Paul II.

For quite some time the view from here has been that the likeliest public conclusion or proclamation from the current commission, which began its work in March of 2010, will somewhat echo an earlier one, in 1991, from the Yugoslavian bishops: that there is neither enough evidence to formally approve the supernaturality of the apparitions, nor to dismiss them, a judgment known in Latin vernacular as non constat supernaturalitas -- which means that the supernatural has not yet been ruled out or established (as opposed to constat non supernaturalitas, which means it is established that the apparition is not supernatural). This rather neutral viewpoint -- non constat supernaturalitas, which was also reached in 1991 -- may be accompanied by a statement or pastoral guidelines on nurturing the faithful, refining prayer, and maintaining Medjugorje as a Marian shrine. In short: a recognition of the pilgrimage though not the apparitions. Given the extensive nature of pilgrimages (1.5 million people a year), many believe it is unlikely that the Church, which historically has weighed the discernment of laity, along with that of its own experts, would outright reject or condemn Medjugorje, preferring to remain ambiguous, at least until the alleged phenomena do halt.

But such is speculation. No one really knows what the committee will say, nor whether we will even know what it tells the Congregation (and then Benedict) -- who may or may not comment further or take additional action.

While few expect outright approval or condemnation, anything is possible and we will strictly abide by whatever the Vatican directs. Up to now, Rome has issued two statements allowing Catholics and priests to visit Medjugorje as long as the pilgrimages are not organized as official parish events. Pope John Paul II urged clerics, including bishops and cardinals, to visit Medjugorje and he met personally with at least two seers, whom he later sent rosaries, but it is not known how Benedict XVI, who takes a more intellectual/theological approach to mysticism, feels about Medjugorje, which as a cardinal he visited at least twice, according to reliable reports. Vatican observers often go to the village as observers.

Further rumor has had it that the Vatican will move authority of Medjugorje to a neighboring diocese or reorganize existing dioceses so that a different episcopate, or perhaps an entity based in Rome, oversees the site -- which in size, with 10,000 pilgrim rooms (most holding more than one pilgrim), is beginning to approach Lourdes and Fatima.

The current diocese of Mostar is headed by a bishop [left] who has been actively opposed to the apparitions since he was an assistant to the preceding bishop during the 1980s; due to his strong view he has been asked by Rome not to issue public comments on the events.

But last June, at Confirmation in the Medjugorje church (Saint James), that bishop, Ratko Peric, seemed to slightly soften his stance, admonishing the village that it could either go the way of Jerusalem and a place for the action of the Holy Spirit or -- if it focused too heavily on commercialism -- that of Babylon. Previously, he had simply dismissed the site of apparitions.

Still, his viewpoint is hard to see as radically different. “You have the opportunity to make Jerusalem out of this parish, a place of action of the Spirit of God, where a multitude blends into unity, where each one understands everyone in God, and not in false wealth, where Peter’s word is heard: 'Repent … and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit' (Acts 2.39)," he preached at the annual Confirmation. 

In Sarzano, Italy, Father Massimo Achilli, a priest at a parish visited recently by seer Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez, shared his impression of how Medjugorje is moving closer to official recognition with the work of the current Vatican Commission: “The Pontifical Commission has heard and still listens to people like Ivanka. The apparitions are not officially recognized as having occurred because they are still going on, but there have been steps forward” he told Il Secolo XIX.

All visionaries have been interviewed by the commission and seemed positive about their experience.

But it remains difficult to read much into what little seeps out of Rome. Certainly, it is intriguing that Italy has experienced a great surge in fervor for Medjugorje (all six seers have visited there this year for public apparitions) at the same time that the matter is being considered there by the cardinals and theologians within Italy's borders. Italians now swarm over the site to such an extent that the airport in Mostar is being expanded. Despite a tremendous building boom (which has seen now even the need to install parking meters), rooms were in such short supply during the anniversary last summer that some pilgrims had to camp out or sleep in cars. It will be fascinating, whenever a statement is released, to observe how the Vatican handles an alleged site that has led to many conversions and vocations, along with highly documented healings. In November alone (a slow month at Medjugorje), 1,731 priests con-celebrated Mass there (fifty-seven a day). God-willing, we will be leading an interesting pilgrimage to Medjugorje late next spring.

As for the prophetic pulse:

Medjugorje Today reports that alleged visionary Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti, who now lives much of the year in Italy (where huge crowds gather anytime any visionary visits), seemed especially somber during an apparition on December 2 (in Varese, Italy).

“The Blessed Virgin Mary did not give any specific message, but urged all of us to find God by embracing the message of Our Lady," Marija said, according to the local online media Varese News. "The only salvation for humanity’s future is increasingly at risk.”

Equally large numbers have come to see the seers in places like Zahleh, Lebanon -- where five Greek Orthodox patriarchs (bishops) attended an apparition with visionary Ivan Dragicevic (who usually -- and interestingly -- focuses on the Boston area in the U.S., which has been hit hard by church closings and the sex-abuse crisis).

The seer also had an apparition in Sidon, Lebanon, that was attended by three Orthodox bishops. As Marschner points out, "When Jesus preached in Sidon, the Virgin Mary waited for her Son in a cave in Maghdouche, in south-western Lebanon. On November 17 she returned to the site after almost 2,000 years, appearing to Medjugorje seer Ivan Dragicevic in front of three bishops and more than 4,000 people."

While Marija, getting back to Italy, was described as "dire" (after that December 2 message), most apparitions are extremely joyous ones in which the seers glow with happiness, and even the serious ones are interspersed with long moments of wide reverent smiles as they stare upon the Blessed Mother. Of course, until the Vatican rules, we say "allegedly." Few hints of the secrets have arrived, though a priest who serves as spiritual director to visionary Mirjana Soldo has speculated that her first two secrets will in some way involve Medjugorje itself (Mirjana said in the early 1980s that her first two secrets would serve as "warnings" and would be events that would make news around the world).

Meanwhile, nature prophesies.

There are now constant earthquakes along the Pacific's "Rim of Fire," and unusual vibrations have been seismically noted in the U.S., where the Midwest has seen a substantial uptick along the New Madrid fault. In Japan, officials are warily keeping an eye on dozens of volcanoes (many of which have been filling with magma), while astronomers expect a newly discovered comet to make such a close pass to the sun in 2013 that it may be as bright as the moon (though much farther from us). Stay tuned...

[resources: Medjugorje: What's Happening, Wayne Weible's The Medjugorje Fasting Book, and Medjugorje and the Church

[see also: Michael Brown pilgrimage, Medjugorje; and article: Seer seems dire after alleged apparition]

[Print article]

[Further note: Despite relentless efforts to spin official comments, mostly negatively, the Church conclusion up to now was expressed clearly by Cardinal Kuharic, president of the Episcopal Conference that studied the matter and reached the neutral decision of non contstat supernaturalitas on April 10, 1991. "The Church is in no hurry," he told a publication called Vecernij List in 1993. "We, the bishops, after three years of study, have declared Medjuigorje a place of prayer and a Marian shrine. This means that we are not opposed to people coming in pilgrimage to Medjugorje to venerate the Mother of God in accordance with the teaching and the faith of the entire Church. As to that which is the supernatural aspect of the apparitions, we have declared that: Up to now we can not affirm this. we are putting it off for further study. The Church is in no hurry."]


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