Medjugorje: True or False?
Christ and Neighbor
My wife and I have just been in Yugoslavia on a two-week visit with a daughter’s new in-laws. During a trip to the Dalmatian coast, I asked if we could visit Medjugorje, where Our Lady has been reported to have appeared and spoken to children, and which has become a magnet for pilgrims and the site of allegedly miraculous healings.
The Medjugorje apparitions were first reported on June 24, 1981, and the number of pilgrims is now over 12 million and includes several thousand priests and over 100 bishops. The healings are presently estimated at nearly 400, although none has yet been authenticated by an official medical commission. Supporters, however, say there are two healings ready to be recognized.
Before leaving the United States, I asked a local center for Medjugorje publicity to send me some literature. I learned that for a number of years the young people involved have reported almost daily apparitions and statements from Our Lady on many different subjects. Also included in the literature I received was a response by Fr. Rene Laurentin, S.J., to the most recent attack on the authenticity of Medjugorje by Pavao Zanic, Bishop of Mostar, in whose diocese Medjugorje lies.
From the statements reported by the “visionaries” or “seers,” as they are called, Our Lady’s principal emphases are on peace, conversion, prayer, and fasting. Mostly peace. Conscious of the Church’s devotion to the Latin aphorism Pax Opus Iustitiae (Peace is the Work of Justice), I wondered why, going by the literature I received, Our Lady has said nothing on social justice.
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