The Queen of Peace
The apparitions associated with Medjugorje have spawned a great deal of controversy in the Catholic Church. After more than twenty-five years of continuous messages, millions of people have claimed conversions to the Blessed Mother. Countless others point to the many difficulties, which include the vast quantity of repetitive and banal messages, urgent warnings laced with unfulfilled prophecies, bitter conflicts between the Franciscan supporters and Rome, and a spirit of disobedience that still threatens to divide the Church.
An epidemic outbreak that has spread around the world modeled on Medjugorje includes sun miracles, perfumes and voices, miraculous photographs, inexplicable healings, transformations of rosaries, not to mention the countless believers who had their first “mystical” experiences in Medjugorje, among them Nancy Fowler, John Leary, Carol Ameche, Estella Ruiz, Veronica García, Theresa Lopez and Gianna Talone-Sullivan. Their messages, which are similar to those of Medjugorje, have not been approved.
According to René Laurentin and René Lejeune, the five young visionaries of Medjugorje had been secretly smoking cigarettes. Wayne Weible, a former Protestant who converted after a visit to Medjugorje, adds that the cigarettes had been stolen and that the youth were listening to rock music. After they reported seeing the Gospa, some townspeople responded that they could expect something “miraculous” because it was the feast of Saint John the Baptist. The twenty-fourth of June is also the summer solstice, a day when paranormal occurrences are commonplace in many areas, which include strange and unnatural sounds, along with visions of fires, lights, apparitions, and luminary phenomena.
The emphasis on signs and wonders that occure at Medjugorje as a means of conversion is contrary to Scripture. Signs and wonders in the end times are indicative of false prophets. For example, in Matthew 24:24, Jesus said, “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” The signs and wonders, which include rosaries turning to gold, signs in the sun and the sky, and other phenomena, are sensational and addictive. Those who witness them have difficulty believing they were not from God. Nevertheless, all such prodigies are well within the power of demons and are present at all condemned apparition sites.
Medjugorje’s Queen of Peace, which is one of the titles claimed by the Great Goddess, wears a grey dress with orange trim, not a color normally associated with the Blessed Mother. According to symbolists, grey indicates neutralization, depression, inertia and indifference. The orange trim on the dress, which represents pride and ambition, is the color of the Egyptian goddess Isis, the “Phoenix of Truth.” The vision was prone to appear and disappear and often appeared laughing. One of the seers, Ivan Dragicevic, has testified on tape that the Virgin’s hands were “trembling.”
The seer Marija reported seeing a rainbow-colored cross without Christ on the second day. The Lady was standing in front of it, crying. She said, “Peace, peace, peace,” and then disappeared. The Lady told the visionaries that what she wanted from them was “faith and respect for me” and that priests should “believe firmly,” without specifying in what. As she departed, a light followed in her wake. Vicka referred to the vision as the “bearer of light” and the “Light-Bearer,” the occult code name for Lucifer and one of Isis’ titles.
The Medjugorje messages do not contain a single reference to Christ’s Revelation. There is no mention of the Eucharist in the monthly messages for the public recorded from March 1984 until June 2003. Nor is there any reference to redemption, original sin, repentance, sin, hell, self-denial, evangelization, the victory of Christ over sin, Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection, the Kingdom of God, sanctification, or any of the other sacraments, including Baptism and Confirmation: in short, all the teachings of the Catholic Church. The seers were told that all religions are “dear” to the Queen of Peace and her Son.
In the repetitive, banal messages the Queen of Peace speaks on her own authority, often using adolescent language. The recipient is repeatedly told to just let go and surrender completely, to pray more and more so that her plans, not God’s plan, can be realized. If we do not “surrender,” she threatens that she will not give any more messages. The most important thing is to spread these messages, which are called the greatest since the beginning of the world, thus surpassing the Gospel in importance.
Each seer claims to have received ten grave, catastrophic secrets concerning the end of the world. The second secret is a warning and the third secret is a visible sign that will be left at the apparition site, intended to call humanity back to “faith.” Although the few still alive at this point will have little time to convert, because seven more inevitable catastrophes will befall humanity as chastisements for the sins of the world. Two of the seers, Mirjana and Ivanka, claim they received from the Lady a piece of indestructible parchment on which all ten secrets are written, with dates, hours and minutes, which is contrary to Scripture. The writing is invisible, but the seers claim that a priest will be able to read it at the designated time.
Maria Valtorta’s condemned work, The Poem of the Man-God, has sold millions of copies worldwide, primarily because it is being promoted among Medjugorje supporters as endorsed by the Blessed Mother herself. Maria Pavlovic was told that the Lady informed her that it is “a book that can be read.” It contains Gnostic information about the Wisdom Goddess, Sophia, and declares that Christ is not divine.
The entity who appears at Medjugorje declared that she is the “Master of all hearts” who will comfort all in their trials and fill them with peace, joy and love of God. In Christianity, the word “master” means “sovereign Lord,” and can only refer to Jesus, our Lord and Savior, never the Blessed Mother. The word “master” indicates that the source is likely the Ascended Master Mary, also known as Mother Mary or “Mother of the World.” One of her past incarnations was Isis of Egypt, where she instructed initiates in the mystery of gnostic doctrines.
New Age philosophy is found in many of the messages. For example, the Queen of Peace urges followers to open their “hearts to God like the spring flowers which crave for the sun” and to meet God the Creator in nature. Messages state that God speaks to us “through the smallest flower” and that if one “finds peace in nature” he or she will discover God the Creator. Such messages suggest that God is found in nature rather than through the revelation found in Scripture. In the New Age Movement all is one and everything is interrelated, including the cosmos, the spirit world, humanity, God, and nature.
On June 25, 1991, the tenth anniversary of the apparitions, the entity declared, “Today on this great day which you have given to me, I desire to bless all of you and to say: these days while I am with you are days of grace. I desire to teach you and help you to walk the way of holiness.” The very next day the war in Croatia broke out, which just happened to follow the anniversary celebrations in Medjugorje and the announced “days of grace.” The entity called the vigil of the war a great day that her followers had given her. According to Robert D. Kaplan, author of Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History, “Yugoslavia did not deteriorate suddenly, but gradually and methodically, step by step, through the 1980s becoming poorer and meaner and more hate-filled by the year.” The time period he describes coincides exactly with the advent of the apparitions until the civil war.
After Pope John Paul II rejected Bishop Zanic’s negative commission report, he formed a new Yugoslavian Bishops’ Commission to investigate the authenticity of Medjugorje. He appointed twenty bishops who subsequently convened, voted, and published their Declaration (non constat de supernaturalitate) on April 10, 1991, which stated: “On the basis of the investigations so far, it cannot be affirmed that one is dealing with supernatural apparitions and revelations.” According to Father Peter Joseph, it is forbidden, as well as sinful, to propagate private revelations that have received a negative judgment of any kind, including the non constat de supernaturalitate, from the local bishop, a Bishops’ Commission, or the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Father Philip Pavich has stated that when the bishops issued their declaration, they considered it to be the final word. On June 17, 1991, four bishops and four theologians met in Mostar to draft the directives promised in the Declaration of April 10. This eight-man commission came to Medjugorje that same afternoon and met with the Franciscan staff to present and explain the draft. The Directives were then to be officially approved and promulgated in a plenary session of the Bishops’ Conference of Yugoslavia then days later, on June 27. The Directives state:
1. Let the visionaries refrain from public declarations about their apparitions, and let them submit any possible future messages only to the local Bishop and to the authorized Commission.
2. The pastor in Medjugorje is responsible for the correct instruction and maintenance of discipline of the celebration of the sacraments. In the spirit of the Declaration of the Bishops of Yugoslavia on April 10, 1991, let there be no speaking about the supernaturality of the apparitions and messages in public appearances and writings.
3. It is required of the faithful who are inspired by the events in Medjugorje to respect and observe the directives of their bishops.
Eight days later, on June 25, 1991, Croatia and Slovenia seceded from the Socialistic Federated Republics of Yugoslavia. The next day, June 26, Yugoslav army forces invaded Slovenia and the Yugoslav war against Croatia began. Effectively the Bishops’ Conference of Yugoslavia was dissolved because Yugoslavia disintegrated. The intended general meeting never took place on June 27 and, consequently, the directives have never been implemented. The intentions of the bishops and theologians were therefore obstructed by the war, an uncanny coincidence that Father Philip sees as clear evidence of “claw prints.”
Father Philip, who was present at the meeting on June 17, states, “Worse yet, the Catholic Church in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina became the biggest losers in this horrible war and Medjugorje became the biggest winner! It makes one wonder, Who is this Gospa, this entity, who takes advantage of a most vicious war to thwart twenty legitimate bishops’ intentions and preserve her message giving and her apparition site! For me it was a clear evidence of the not-so-hidden evil entity that the Medjugorje visionaries were channeling. Yes, they really were in contact with a spiritual entity, but it is not the true Mother of God.”
As a consequence, a 1,000-year-old Croatian Catholic presence in a region of Bosnia was displaced with Serbs and Muslims, 450 churches were destroyed, the Commission President’s diocese was destroyed, and the Blessed Mother allegedly protected Medjugorje, but not the Catholic Church. Because the bishops’ directives were never implemented, many Catholics believe they are free to go as pilgrims to Medjugorje, base their devotion to the Blessed Mother on unapproved messages, and pray to an unapproved entity.
Father Philip commented that those who accept Medjugorje as authentic are creating their own reality apart from the Catholic Church, giving the assent of divine faith to messages of unknown origin. Acting on their own authority, they are elevating mere human faith in the visionaries to the status of divine faith, without the guidance and assurance of the Church’s Magisterium.
For more information please visit Ten Reasons Why Catholics Should Avoid Medjugorje.
For more information on false apparition sites, please proceed to the Apparition Site Review Page.