The Parish of Medjugorje is situated in the southwestern part of the region of Herzegovina,
in the present-day country of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Herzegovina is situated between two regions: a mountainous region to the north and a coastal region to the south.
The population of Medjugorje is about 4000 people, but with the pilgrims who flock to the
village, there are usually tens of thousands of people there every day. The nationality and
language of the locals is Croatian, and they are all Catholic.
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 (which is called Apparition Hill today) an apparition, a woman with a child in her arms. Surprised and scared, they did not approach her.
The next day at the same time, June 25, 1981, four of them, Ivanka Ivankovic, Mirjana
Dragicevic, Vicka Ivankovic and Ivan Dragicevic, felt strongly drawn towards the place where they saw the woman on the hill the day before. Marija Pavlovic and Jakov Colo joined them. The group of Medjugorje visionaries was formed. They prayed with Our Lady and talked to Her.
From that day onward, they had daily apparitions, together or separately.
Daily apparitions continue to this present day.
In 2010, Pope Benedict established a commission, consisting of sixteen members, to
investigate the apparitions of Medjugorje. The commission was headed by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, retired Vicar General of Rome. The commission only investigated the first seven days of the apparitions, likely because the apparitions are ongoing. In 2014
the Ruini Commission completed its investigation and submitted their findings to the
Vatican. The commission made several recommendations, one of those being that the
Vatican approve those first seven days of the apparitions.
In 2018, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Henryk Hoser, retired Archbishop of Warsaw,
Poland, as Apostolic Visitor for the parish of Medjugorje. The Holy See’s Press Office
explained, “the mission of the Apostolic Visitor has the aim of ensuring a stable and
continuous accompaniment to the parish community of Medjugorje and to the faithful who go there as pilgrims, and whose needs require particular attention. With this action, the Vatican has effectively placed Medjugorje under its direct guidance.
In 2019, the Vatican approved official pilgrimages to Medjugorje, meaning that any Catholic parish, diocese, group, or organization is now able to organize official pilgrimages to
In August of 2021, Archbishop Hoser passed away. A few months later, Pope Francis
appointed Archbishop Aldo Cavalli to the post of Apostolic Visitor for Medjugorje.
We are still waiting for the Vatican to act on the recommendation of the Ruini Commission
(to approve the first seven days of the apparitions), but in the meantime, the steps the
Vatican has taken in the last few years (the appointment of an Apostolic Visitor to
Medjugorje and giving approval for official pilgrimages) demonstrates great support for
Medjugorje in the Church. Both Archbishop Hoser and his successor, Archbishop Cavalli
expressed their belief that approval of Medjugorje is only a matter of time.
As with all things, we submit to the judgement of the Church.