The boys of Medjugorje
On June 24, 1981 Ivan Dragicevic and Jakov Colo were the only boys among the 6 visionaries who saw a shining silhouette
of a lady holding a baby. It happened between two hills near the Croatian village
of Medjugorje. The next day the youth returned between the tobaccoplants and grapes. The shining silhouette returned to reveale her identity: “I am the Blessed
day the Gospa (the Croatian word for Our Lady) reappeared, giving the children “messages”. Since 1987 these messages
have been given once a month. The Gospa also gives each visionary certain secrets which will be revealed through the intermediary
of a priest chosen by the visionary, at a time the Gospa decides.
Franciscan village priest, Father Jozo Zovko, still living under political repression of the omnipresent Communist militia.
sheltered the cildren in his parish church.
between the hills of Krizevac and Podbrdo (Medjugorje means “between the mountains”).Jozo Zovko came to believe
in the apparitions for he saw Our Lady himself one day in his church. The Bishop of Mostar, Monsignor Zanic, first believed
too, but later was convinced that the whole thing had been cooked up by the Franciscans. A rift then developed which exists
the girls Ivanka Ivankovic, Mirjana Dragicevic, Vicka Ivankovic and Marija Pavlovic,
is filled a complete library. But little is known about Jakov Colo and Ivan Dragicevic, the boys
who saw Our Lady.
In Brugges, Belgium, Mark Waterinckx is the proud owner of over 6,000 kg's
of documentation about Medjugorje. But in
the Waterinckx archives both boys are represented on one single sheet of paper. Waterinckx
is known as the man who most visited the sanctuary in one single year, when he walked barefoot 32 times from Belgium
to the heart of Herzegovina in former Yugoslavia,
Colo, now 34 years old (in 2005) still lives in the parish of Medjugorje, is married and has three children.. He was the youngest
of all the seers, born on March 6, 1971 in Bijakovici. He was only 10 years old when the apparitions started. He then stated:
" Now, . I begin the day with prayer, then go to school. when I get home, I help wherever necessary. I pray more and go to
Mass every evening. I feel I'm closer to God now. I now want to live as a Christian."
rarely saw his father, who worked in Germany. Then certain Jakovs' mother Jaca died. Her death, on September 5th 1983, just
two years after the start of the apparitions, affected Jakov deeply. Jakov remembered that his mother had a little print of
the Lady of all Nations pinned above her bed..
Lady asked Jakov to pray for the sick. He has had daily apparitions since June
25, 1981. In the early years, the presence of the young fidgety Jakov among the
group of seers is special.. For over three years Jakov came to church for two to three hours of prayer every single day, in
winter as well as in summer, whatever the weather.
September 12, 1998, Our Lady confided to him his 10th secret.
Lady now appears to Jakov only once per year on Christmas Day.
“From the time Our Lady first appeared to me, my life has entirely changed. It was very difficult for me to accept that
I would no longer see Our Lady every day. I
wondered how I would continue, and struggled for months until I realized that I was now like all of us who do not see
Our Lady. But She is with each one of us always, and we can experience her in our hearts.”
Dragicevic, now 40 (in 2005) was 16 during the first apparition. He is the oldest of the two boys who see Our Lady. Ivan was
born on May 25th, 1965 in Bijakovici. There are three younger children in his family. Although Ivan and Mirjana share the
same last name, they are not related. Ivan was told by Our Lady is to pray for priests and the youth of the world.
Lady has appeared to Ivan every day since June 24, 1981. Our Lady to date has confided nine secrets to Ivan. He travelled
all over Europe, stayed a while in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and is now married and resides half the year in the parish of
Medjugorje, and half the year in Boston, MA, USA. Ivan and his wife Laureen have three children.
1986 Monsignor Zanic provided Cardinal Ratzinger with a negative report on the apparitions, but the Cardinal removed Zanic
from the case and gave the investigation over to a new Commission formed of Yugoslavian bishops with Monsignor Komarica (from
Banja Luka) at its head. This Commission is open to further developments and has not concluded its investigations.
April 1991 this Commission officially accepted Medjugorje as a place of prayer, and authorized it as a place of worship. Private
pilgrimages are authorized there. On August 21, 1996, Doctor Navarro Valls, the spokesman for the Holy See, made explicit
the position of Rome: “You cannot say people cannot go there until it has been proven false. This has not been said,
so anyone can go if they want” (CNS Publication, August 21, 1996). “When Catholic faithful go anywhere, they are
entitled to spiritual care, so the Church does not forbid priests to accompany lay-organized trips to Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina,”
June 25, 1981, more than 20 million pilgrims have come to this little village to pray and experience conversion, making Medjugorje
one of the most frequented sanctuaries in the entire world. When nobody took his actions against Zovko serious, Waterinckx
found a new object to fight against: the official by the church recognized apparition of the Holy Virgin in Amsterdam. At
least not so far from Brugges as Medjugorje,