SHRINE OF THE QUEEN OF PEACE AT MEDJUGORJE
On June 24, 1981, at about 6pm, six young parishioners from Medjugorje: Ivanka Ivankovic, Mirjana Dragicevic, Vicka Ivankovic, Ivan Dragicevic, Ivan Ivankovic and Milka Pavlovic, saw on the hill Crnica (on the place called Podbrdo) an apparition, a white form with a child in her arms. Surprised and scared, they did not approach.
The next day at the same time four of them, Ivanka Ivankovic, Mirjana Dragicevic, Vicka Ivankovic and Ivan Dragicevic, felt strongly drawn towards the place where, the day before, they saw the One who they had recognised as Our Lady, the Virgin Mary. Marija Pavlovic and Jakov Colo joined them. The group of Medjugorje Marian visionaries was formed. They prayed with Our Lady and talked to Her. Since then they had daily apparitions, together or separately. Milka Pavlovic and Ivan Ivankovic have never seen Our Lady any more.
“Dear children! All of this time in which God in a special way permits me to be with you, I desire to lead you on the way that leads to Jesus and to your salvation. My little children, you can find salvation only in God and therefore, especially on this day of grace with little Jesus in my arms, I call you to permit Jesus to be born in your hearts. Only with Jesus in your heart can you set out on the way of salvation and eternal life. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Message received by Jakov Colo on 25 December 2009.
Pilgrims who travel to Medjugorje gather at three main areas:
Apparition Hill. This is where the visionaries claim to have first seen Our Lady. It happened at the end of June back in 1981. Since then pilgrims gather there to pray the rosary. By day and by night, groups can be seen making their way to the place of the first apparition. Up until 1989, there was nothing to be seen there except boulders and rustic crosses left by pilgrims. Today, on the ascent, images in cast bronze recall the joyful sorrowful and glorious mysteries of the rosary.
Krizevac (Cross Mountain) is the hill above Medjugorje. Here the people of the village of Medjugorje erected an eight-meter high concrete cross in commemoration of the 1900th anniversary of Jesus' death. Here groups and individual pilgrims pay homage in the way of the Cross, praying as they go from station to station. Bronze images are depicting the various stations and have been placed at each cross. Krizevac has become the "Calvary" of the shrine where pilgrims remember the passion of Christ.
The Mass (in different languages) and sacramental life in general is celebrated at the Parish Church and surrounding area. The church as well as the Parish is consecrated to St. James, apostle and patron of pilgrims. In 1991 twenty new confessionals were added and an outdoor altar was erected for larger gatherings. Within the Church grounds there is also a building which houses "the adoration chapel" and seminar rooms for church purposes.
For details on parish and pilgrim activities: http://www.medjugorje.hr/en/medjugorje-phenomenon/pilgrims-gatherings/ (details also in other languages)