Friday, September 12, 2008

Benedict Goes To Lourdes, I Delve Into Medjugorje

It's funny how things can lead to other things and lead to even more other things. I had intended to commemorate Benedict XVI's trip to Lourdes with an update on what's happening with Medjugorje. The Vatican has recently censured one of the Franciscan's who was instrumental in mentoring the visionaries, and is still in the process of determining it's official stance on the site itself. But, what I found is that Medjugorje is about far more than Marian visions and the subsequent life of the visionaries.

It seems that one can't look into anything in the Balkans and not find oneself in a morass of politics, tribalism, sectarian violence, and economic exploitation of one group by another. Medjugorje is no exception. Whatever the kids experienced, and multiple scientific testing says they did experience something which was not a lie, not a form of drug psychosis, and not a form of hallucination, they also inadvertently help set off all kinds of other very unpleasant historical conflicts.

These historical conflicts encompass the Church itself, since the Franciscans operate the parishes in the immediate area and have historically been at odds with the official Church in the diocese in which Medjugorje exists. These conflicts between the Archdiocese and the Franciscans continue.

The Archdiocese is not a supporter of the pilgrimage site, and the Franciscans are one of the major driving forces behind all the pilgrimages, and one of the main beneficiaries of all the money the pilgrims bring. One of the Franciscan sites which is deriving a great deal of benefit from Medjugorje is the University of St Francis in Steubenville, Ohio.

Researching Medjugorje is going to take me a lot more time. There are so many threads enter twined with so many other threads, and the picture which emerges is very murky. Unlike Lourdes, and Fatima, none of the visionaries followed through with religious vocations, and the since the visions happened within the jurisdiction of a Franciscan parish, the official diocesan representatives held no sway until the whole phenomenon became a threat to the Milosevic government. Not surprisingly the Serbian government saw the site as a front for Croatian Independence and the re emergence of the Ustasha. So while the official church was immersed in it's own jurisdictional issues, the politics of the area also intruded into the whole development of Medjugorje.

To add even more mayhem to the mess, during the Yugoslavian war of the 90's, just as in WWII major atrocities were committed in the area under the fog of war, old injustices were acted on, and suddenly wealthy criminal families wreaked vengeance on each other. No wonder the Queen of Peace was frequently seen by the visionaries to be crying.

I'm beginning to see why the Vatican has been sitting on the fence on Medjugorje, and while even though John Paul II seemed to be supportive in private, in public it was and is a different story. It is a mess, and the Church has zero control of either the site or the visionaries. This is a situation which has not been in play in any other officially recognized Marian Shrine. In the cases of Lourdes, Fatima and Guadalupe, the official church was the main player. In this situation they have been the weakest player. This must be an uncomfortable place for the Vatican to find itself as millions of pilgrims visit the area every year.

In my own personal opinion something most certainly happened to the visionaries. The real question is what was that something? Tomorrow I'll go into the speculation about just what that something is. It ranges all the way from Mary actually being present, to mind control experiments run by the KGB, to the devil, to the visionaries themselves in some cases not understanding what's happened to them and what they've really been experiencing.


  1. Colleen, I am looking forward to reading more about this. My sister has been mentioning some strange things that the military is capable of, including creating illusions and delusions. She was in the Air Force. Scary stuff.

    We're getting hit with a major hurricane in this country again. I pray everyone leaves the areas affected and they've been warned they "will die" if they don't leave certain areas. Hopefully they'll all heed to the warning. Do you think they all will?

  2. It is easy to forget the lessons that Jesus taught us.

    Remember the story of Jesus on the lake, when he said, "peace, be still", and it did. That same spirit is within each of us. Perhaps if enough of us hold that in our thoughts, ...

  3. Colleen,
    tying this to your previous post on negative plane energies, Serbia seems to be one of those places with a long history where the negative plane energies seem to be the dominant force.

    Related to this, Lynne McTaggert, author of "The Intention Experiment" is conducting a scientific study to determine if group mind can have a positive impact on peace.

    Fascinating read. Very exciting premise and possibility. (I found this site accidently after I posted my last message. Synchronicity again?)

    Rather than me trying to explain it, here is the link. It starts on 9/14 and only takes 10 minutes a day for a week. What if all that it took, was enough people spending 10 minutes a day ...

  4. As a 54 year old, PhD scientist, non-Catholic whose conversion process began at Medjugorje last October, I find recent conjectures by others on this topic interesting. Those who have been to Medjugorje realize that the real story isn't about the visionaries or the Franciscans, but rather about internal conversion of the pilgrims. It is an extremely personal experience that brings one close to God. I had to laugh when I read the part about KGB mind control. If it is, then they are doing God's work and God is controlling their minds! I am looking forward to going through RCIA this year and receiving the Sacraments next year.

  5. Hi Timothy. Thanks for your comment and I appreciate you writing about this and your personal experience and conversion. May I ask what brought you to Medjugorje? I know a few people who went there and they both would agree with you that there is definitely something there that is what they would describe as a special presence. I wonder why the Catholic Church still does not accept it as such. I think that is why there is a lot of speculation floating around about it.

  6. Colleen,
    I've been trying to locate one of your blogs but can't seem to find it. It was about the right and left brain thinking. I can't remember some details and I want to print out for my husband to read. What date was that blogged?

  7. Tim, I'm going to get into the high prevalence of personal conversions. It's one of the reasons I think something is most definitely happening at Medjugorje.

    Carl, there's a documented experiment about a rather large group of people who participated in group Transcendental Meditation aimed at lowering the crime rate in DC. For whatever reason, the police department took this seriously and were amazed at the results. The summer this happened the crime rate was less than it would be in a very bad winter. If you google TM you will come across this study.

    Butterfly, that post was lost when my other blog went down.

  8. test

    NAB: Romans 8:28

    1 We know that all things work for good for those who love God, 2 who are called according to his purpose.

  9. ...although i've heard amazing things about Medg. I do not feel drawn there, perhaps there is no reason at all for that... Lourdes on the other hand has always pulled me in... so finally decided that spring 2009 would be the year I would go to Lourdes... its a dream come true for me... and my heart skips a beat just thinking about it!!!!!!!


  10. Hi, it's me, again. It appears the "test" worked.

    I read these posts with interest and thought I would share my/our experiences with you (Tim, Collen, butterfly and whoever else stops by).

    Like Tim, we were not the likeliest to convert, but we did in spite of ourselves.

    Like Tim, my husband and I were very much science-bent. My doctorate is in the health field and I care for patients as a doctor in a private practice. My husband, like Tim, earned his Ph.D. and has for the last 30 years worked as professor/researcher at a university. At the same age as Tim, in 2004we too were called -- out of the blue -- to Medjugorje.

    Then, we were "(vaugely)spiritual, but (definitely) not religious." We were not even faintly interested in organized religion.

    By grace -- and grace alone -- four years after our trip to Medjugorje as NON-Catholics, we are now a part of the body of Christ in His Church. We received the Sacraments of baptism, confirmation, reconciliation, Eucharist and marriage within the year of our return from Medjugorje.

    There was and continues to be a supernatural order to our spiritual journey and so this recent tempest in the teapot situation in the media does not faze us.

    We trust in His Plan for that sacred place. As I posted earlier:

    From the New American Bible: Romans 8:28

    1 We know that all things work for good for those who love God, 2 who are called according to his purpose.

    I send my love and best wishes to all of you and especially to Tim, as you journey forward. RCIA is heaven-sent and now with the Internet, you have great resources to delve into your faith.

    She, who I never gave much thought too before Medjugorje, will keep leading you to her son, just as she did in Medjugorje. In the end, it is all about God and His Glory. Period.

    And what a joy life has been ever since Medjugorje...

    My story is here:

  11. Hi there I would like to pray fro my job and a job of my friend and my partner in life who she may be and for our group in the Legion of Mary because we are having trouble getting some new members and for the sponsors for the Peace Rainbow Missionary Group

  12. Mark, consider my prayers added to your prayers. Thanks for bringing me back to this post. I forget alot of what I write and the comments that come with the writing. The testimonies here to the power of Medjugorge made my day.

    Mary is alive and well and actively working for all our benefits. Peace on your journey.

  13. I spent 5 weeks in Medjugorje in the heart of winter Jan-Feb 1994. I lived in a house with a number of Bosnian refugee families and I have many fond memories of these beautiful people. The snow that fell on the town was mesmerizing and I loved the routine of morning English mass, various solitary and friendly activities, and the Croatian mass in the evening. I had a disturbing event when I went exploring over the other side of Krizevac and down into the valley beyond. From what I feel from that place - I am inclined to think that this is not human deception but something dark. I can only say be very careful and I pray that when the Vatican does denounce this place, that people will retain their sanity and trust in God's providence and mercy.
    praised be Jesus and Mary (protect us). Amen.

  14. Mathew I can appreciate your concern. At the same time that Medjugorge was happening, and that you were there on the ground, Mary was aslo appearing in Uganda, and predicted the genocide which would shortly occur there. Here the visionaries were also teen age girls.

    It seems to me that Mary is choosing to appear in some rather dark places at this time in our history. There is no question that the Balkans are one of those places. This doesn't necessarily have to imply that the appearance of Mary herself is a product of dark energy. In fact, I tend to think it validates the authenticity of her presence.