After an unbroken 33-year run, the Virgin Mary will cease her punctual monthly visits to Medjugorje visionary Mirjana Dragičević, according to the Italian non-profit La Luce De Maria. The source said:
Our Lady on March 18, 2020 in Medjugorje, announced to the visionary Mirjana that the apparition of the 2nd of each month has ended.
The news began to circulate after 14:30 today, at the end of the extraordinary apparition to Mirjana, which took place exceptionally in her home, given the absence of pilgrims due to the blockade of the borders due to the Coronavirus.
According to some estimates, 30 million pilgrims have come to Medjugorje since the alleged apparitions began in 1981, and the once-sleepy town has been transformed into a bustling and profitable mecca. But the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Bosnia on March 5, and travel is now tightly restricted. The news that the visions will cease came a day after the state of emergency was called on March 17.
It’s not the first time the Gospa (“Lady”) has changed her schedule to accommodate the convenience of human crowds. One eyewitness to Marijana allegedly receiving a scheduled vision describes how the Virgin apparently kept her visit short enough to fit within the time allotted to the Joyce athletic center at Notre Dame:
Near the middle of the basketball court a dais was set up; on the right side was a crucifix, on the left side was a podium, and in the middle was a large statue of Our Lady. To the left side of the dais was a piano which someone played in order to lead the people in singing hymns. In front of the dais, in the center, was a prie-dieu set up for Marija to kneel during her vision.
The organizer of the event greeted us by letting us know that we would pray a rosary, and then Marija would talk a bit, lead us in a few prayers, and then go into her vision. He also noted that there was going to be another event in the Joyce Center around 8 or so, and that they had promised the Joyce Center people that the crowd would depart by 7:45.
The eyewitness also notes that, after the Gospa apparently departed,
“organizers were wondering if people would be willing to ‘donate’ money to Marija to cover the costs of her flight out. Not for any of the churches over in Medjugorje, not for some charitable organization, but to cover her flight. A couple hundred check books came out.”
Mirjana, who claims to have seen the Mother of God on the second of every month as well as on her birthday since 1987, divides her time between Italy and Medjugorje, where she owns several hotels. One, a four-star hotel named “Magnificat,” has 54 rooms. According to the hotel’s website, “It was born as the home of the Queen of Peace, so that every guest can feel His maternal benevolence both spiritually and materially.” A travel brochure for the hotel promises, “Marija Pavlovic … will be often present in the center to give her testimony.”
Marjana and her husband live on an island in a seaside villa with a pool, which the couple rents to tourists. Vicka and Ivan, two of the other seers, have also invested heavily in real estate and hotels. Vicka still gets daily visions; Ivanka, the fourth, had daily visions for several years, but now only sees the Mother of God once a year. In total, the alleged seers have logged close to 50,000 visits.
In 1983, the Virgin Mary allegedly told Mirjana:
“Assemble about twenty young people who are ready to follow Jesus without reservation. Bring them together within a month’s notice. I will initiate them into the spiritual life. There can even be more than twenty.”
But in 2020, a crowd of merely twenty may not be large enough to make it worthwhile for the Mother of God to appear.
She will, however, continue to visit Marijana on her birthday every year. It’s not yet clear whether, as with past apparitions, pilgrims will be allowed to live stream Marijana receiving her scheduled vision.
Image: “Apparition Hill” in Medjugorje, photo by Michał Maksymilian Gwozdek / CC0