Speculation about a 'great sign' predicted at Medjugorje

by Michael H. Brown

       Sometime in the near future a "great sign" will be given to mankind, a confirmation of the supernatural -- a final call back to God.     

    That's the claim from the miraculous site of Medjugorje (a place that was deemed full of the Holy Spirit even by non-Catholics such as the great pentecostalist David du Plessis), and as the world plunges into ever-greater spiritual tension, with issues such as cloning, RU-486, and the Middle East, many in Catholic circles sense something coming and are fervently speculating on what the sign might be and when the prophesied event will occur.

       Is it around the corner? Is it something anyone could see? 

       Some are even wondering if it will happen this month.

       I don't pretend to know when such events will occur, but I do think it will be one day. I have been to Medjugorje five times, and while initially skeptical (wary of diabolical deception), I came away fully convinced that as the seers said, there will be a number of events given to man, and among them will be a supernatural sign. It is claimed to be part of the ten secrets given or about to be given to each of six seers. 

       The term "great sign" is identical to the phrase used in the famous secrets at Fatima. In that apparition a seer had been told that such an omen would announce the start of a new war. "When you see a night illuminated by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes," prophesied the Virgin -- and in 1938 (a month before Hitler annexed Austria, which set in motion World War Two), a fantastic display of what scientists explained as the aurora borealis ("northern lights") was seen from France and Switzerland to England, northern Africa, and America.

       Will the great sign of Medjugorje be something similar? Will it involve lights? Will it be something in the sky?

       Or is it fundamentally different? 

        The secret concerning the sign is the only one we know all six seers share and was given to them on October 2, 1981. 

       Several weeks later, on October 28, 1981, the villagers in Medjugorje saw a strange fire on apparition hill, a fire that sent officials rushing to put it out but a fire that simply disappeared without burning anything. There was no sign of it -- no scorching, no ash -- afterward. It was like the bush in Scripture that could not be consumed by fire (Exodus 3:2). When asked about it the Blessed Mother said the mysterious flames at Medjugorje were "one of the signs, a forerunner of the great sign."

       There was also an incident in which the word MIR (Croatian for "peace") was seen miraculously scrawled across the sky. 

      "These are advance signs for those who do not believe," Mary had explained. "The big sign will come later."

       What does this mean? What does it hint at?

       Let's take a quick look at the terminology. A "forerunner" is a prefigurement and a prefigurement is something that foreshadows what will occur. 

       Does that mean we are in for something that again involves light?     

       Will it be fiery? 

       There is a crucial difference between this "sign" and the one connected with Fatima. The Fatima lights lasted only one night; at Medjugorje it is claimed that the sign will be "permanent."

       "Naturally, it will be clear to everyone that it is not something  constructed and erected," said seer Mirjana Soldo in a previously undisclosed interview. "Nobody will be able to say that it was brought and placed in that particular spot by, let us say, someone from Medjugorje."

       "Will it be during the day or night?" asked a priest, Father Petar Ljubicic.

       "Oh, that is a secret," said Mirjana. "I cannot answer because that touches upon... [she abruptly stopped speaking]. The secret already has a specific date and time."

      "Does the secret have a specified minute?" the priest persisted.

      "Yes, at that hour, on that day, in that year. I know all that."

       "Then you know whether it will be day or night?"

       "Yes," said Mirjana -- without, however, revealing when it would occur.

       It is rumored that Vicka Ivankovic, another seer, has indicated that the sign will come at a time when hardly anyone believes. It is unclear, if indeed she said this, whether she was speaking about belief in Medjugorje -- which is currently under great demonic attack -- or about belief in general.

       The important point, says Vicka, is that people convert before the sign comes. Once it is here, she says, it will be "too late."

      Another seer, Jacov Colo, has said it will be "something that has never been on the earth before."  Speculation has ranged from a phenomenon of light that will be seen by those who trudge up apparition hill in Medjugorje -- something all can see from a certain spot, perhaps like a fixed rainbow -- to something that will manifest on the hill itself -- perhaps a miraculous spring or sudden structure. Some have imagined a sudden church or shrine appearing in Medjugorje, but it's hard to conceive, of course, how this could happen, and there doesn't seem to be any precedent for anything so seemingly implausible (with the possible exception of the House of Loreto, which was reputedly the home of Mary and was transported to Italy in a miraculous manner).

       It will be a joy for those who pray, says Mirjana Soldo, the first to be given all ten secrets each will receive.

       For non-believers, says Father Rene Laurentin, an eminent scholar of such phenomena, it will be "a final warning."

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