The Catholic Weekly

The lady of Medjugorje is not your mother

In the Gospels, she says, “Do whatever He tells you.” In Medjugorje, she snickers and says, “You do you.”

Forty-seven thousand times.

Read the rest of my latest for The Catholic Weekly.

21 thoughts on “The lady of Medjugorje is not your mother

  1. Your take on Medjugorje is the same as mine.

    My Blessed Mother never went against Church authority. When Juan Diego feared his Bishop would not believe him, she never defied the Bishop. She produced her image on Juan Diego’s tilma and produced beautiful (non-native) roses in December. Defiance is not her style.

    I am sympathetic to those who have a devotion to this. They want to believe and trust. And they are good people. But they are not asking themselves why priests, bishops, and the Popes of our time (St. John Paul and Benedict never showed up there, in addition to Pope Francis) have never promoted Medjugorje, and in fact have advised the faithful to stay away, via the Bishops. Surely these three popes, who have had such great love of Mary, would have promoted this if it was licit.

    As far as the gold rosary chain phenomena – Satan has been known to pull party tricks in order to pull good people away from God.

    Lenten blessings to you and your family – Susan, ofs

    1. “You do you” means “do what you want” or more loosely, “don’t listen to other people, because they’re not you”. I believe Simcha refers to the Gospa’s habit of affirming whatever it is that the visionaries feel like doing at the moment, especially with the back-and-forth over vocations – I’d also apply it to her comments on the saintliness of rebellious priests…

    2. “You do you” means “do your own thing” or “do whatever you want.” It isn’t necessarily harmful to say this now and then about trivial things – I usually hear it applied to people’s fashion or music tastes – but all that repetition from an alleged authority? Yeah, I don’t see any good coming of that.

  2. Your article contains half truths. While the Church won’t declare a site to be authentic while visionaries are still receiving visions, the Church has always been swift in declaring it false if it there was evidence. I can think of several of these examples over the past decade. The Church hasn’t ruled on Medjugorje and yet you have. You haven’t been there, I have.

    I was a witness to the miracle of the sun. I watched it with eyes wide open while some others around me had to avert their eyes, I watched as water appeared on the knee of the bronze sculpture of the Risen Christ. I wiped water away from solid bronze and watched it reappear on the dry, clean metal over and over. You do not believe in these miracles Simcha but you cannot explain them to me.

    If the Church declares Medjugorje to be false, I will assent my will to the Church. But you are not the Church Simcha and I think it’s presumptive of you to make Her declarations for Her. And you still cannot explain what I’ve seen.

    1. Multiple local bishops have already said that Mary is not appearing at Medjugorje, as Simcha clearly documented and you ignored. It’s a fraud. Stop promoting it.

      1. And yet, the Church took it out of the hands of the local bishop. (Which is also well documented) Also you can’t explain what I saw either Mark. Either I’m, and thousands of others are lying, I’m blind and someone is reading your comments to me, or I witnessed a miracle. do you actually have the audacity to tell a person who saw a miracle to “stop promoting it”?

  3. It was obvious in 1989 (my only 3 day visit) that the village was benefiting from a housing boom because of the pilgrims. Luckily we stayed at a local citizens house where the father spoke impeccable English and he pointed out that the collapse of communism in Yugoslavia was imminent because no one believed in it anymore. An interesting coincidence and a mysterious parallel with Fatima and the ending of the First World War. I saw some strange things outside the church, e.g. A young lady in bare feet climbed the very rocky path to the Cross as quickly as I did in sturdy shoes and arrived just behind me to my surprise… While inside the church for the 4 pm rosary (when one of the seers was present) I was left with the impression that nothing extraordinary had happened and that the one seer present took everything in his stride. It could have been a rosary recited anywhere in the world but was none the less quite prayerful. Our host Dragan seemed to take it all very much for granted and did not appear to be very devout. My final thought was that any village that has an apparition is blessed also in ways other than the spiritual yet, in spite of the commercialisation both Medjugorje and Lourdes are rather remote, hilly locations of considerable beauty where one might expect Our Lady to appear, if she was to appear anywhere on earth. Has Simcha been there?

  4. Please take a trip to Medjugorje to report a credible story, instead of fake news. I expect sarcasm from teenagers, not you through Catholic Weekly.

    1. The dumbest thing conservative Catholics have done is adopt Trump’s stupid playground taunt “fake news” to shout down every fact they don’t like and inoculate themselves against reality. Multiple local bishops have said that Mary is not appearing there, as Simcha documented. You’ve got nothing.

  5. Simcha- Thank you for this. Someone I know visited Medjugorje as a youth. Mixed experience. He did fall into a pretty damaging and life-affecting grave sin while there. Details unnecessary. I know people say, “oh well it’s not hurting anyone because the ‘Gospa’ isn’t anything bad.” But I have often wondered how many people have had experiences like my friend while visiting. Of course, people fall into grave sin all the time away from Medjugorje, so it may be nothing at all. Just have always wondered to myself if maybe there was some correlation there. Just a thought.

  6. I really didn’t want it to be a hoax. I don’t think the seers were rubbing their hands together for money at the beginning–that temptation came later. Maybe initially our Lady really did come to warn them of the terror their countries would go through? After all was said and done I think the devil did what he does best. He never wears the devilsuit when he does it. The jerk. He did it at Lourdes and Garabandal too (Akita makes me wonder and some of Kibeho too). Westerners are a little bit harder to fool, but I think we fell for it.

    What’s crazy is the in-your-face evil stuff that comes out of Mexico or the Caribbean. When I learned Spanish in Ecuador my host mother (devout Catholic) went to see a witch doctor from time to time. They weren’t little Indians that didn’t know better either. She was devout and went to mass on Sunday. I think it’s a strange carry-over from their pre-Christian roots.

    I guess we were duly warned by St. Paul to be on our guard about some of this strange stuff.

    1. I agree, Anna Lisa. Wasn’t Lucifer the most beautiful angel? Evil often seems to come to us in the disguise of something loving and good. Once it gets a foothold, the ugliness emerges.

      The good news is that the Holy Trinity always prevails, and that Our Lady and the saints support us. It is sometimes hard to discern what is good and holy, though, because Satan is no fool and he knows how to appeal to our vanities and fears.

      Peace and all good – Susan, ofs

      1. Yes, Lucifer has been known to mimic apparitions in the past. I can’t remember the exact figure, but at Lourdes there were far more fake apparitions than the real ones.

        It also seems that one of the visionaries was duly warned when she saw for a few moments that the apparition was diabolical–with all of the same features of the Mary that had been appearing, but horrifyingly evil. The excuses the apparition made for this sounded odd. Why would Our Lady need to make a single excuse for herself?

  7. Those who credit the Medjugorje phenomenon would benefit from reading about Our Lady of Kibeho. What a complicated story! I’ll try to summarize, but will gloss on a lot of details. 7 visionaries reported seeing Mary and other saints. Three of them have been assessed by the Church as having received genuine visitations from the Blessed Mother. Four of them were ruled as having fabricated their visions. However, at least one of the four who fabricated his visions converted from paganism to Christianity. Talk about great fruit! There was rejoicing in the heavens over his conversion, I’m sure. My bet (resolvable only in heaven) is that the Blessed Mother probably appeared to one or more of the Medjugorje visionaries originally, and then like the seeds who grew up among thorns, wicked people in the world and temptations of Satan choked off the grain. However, God in his mercy still brings good out of our evil works.

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