Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Medjugorje

Dear Readers,
I recently read a post on a Catholic blog that disturbed me so here is my reply to that post:

Dear Grace,
I recently read your post titled “Our Lady of Medjugorje is FAKE! -Why?”, and I was deeply concerned and disturbed, because my family firmly believes in the apparitions of the Blessed Mother in Medjugorje, and I would like to correct some of the information in your post, and at the same time tell you why I believe in Our Lady of Medjugorje.

First of all, no Pope has ever proclaimed Medjugorje fake. It’s a fact. No where is there a written document or proclamation, from the Vatican, condemning Medjugorje or prohibiting private pilgrimages. Proof: “When, some time ago, the news was spread that Vatican had forbidden pilgrimages to Medjugorje, the spokesman of the Holy See Joaquin Navarro-Valls declared: ‘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.’” (Catholic News Service 21.8.1996.)

One thing you said was: “In 1985 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – now Pope Benedict – banned pilgrimages to the site, but this has been widely ignored.” First of all, Cardinal Ratzinger never banned pilgrimages; and even if he had, he had no authority to, since he was not the Pope, and not even the bishop of the area! As a matter of fact, he spoke positively about it: “Concerning Medjugorje, the Cardinal – now the Pope – Joseph Ratzinger spoke very positively about it in his book if interviews “Zur Lage des Glaubens” published in 1986. There is an interview about the situation of faith in the Church and in the world, where he speaks positively about Medjugorje as a place of prayer, a place where people are converted, spurred by Mary, our Mother.”

Another reason to believe in Medjugorje is that our most beloved, Pope John Paul II supported it. In a private conversation with the visionary Mirjana Soldo the Pope said: "If I were not Pope I would already be in Medjugorje confessing.”(1987) Also, in Feb. 1995, Pope John Paul II, in response to a question asked by the Archbishop of Asuncion, La Paz, Bolivia, said "Authorize everything that regards Medjugorje.” In addition, he said, "Medjugorje is a great center of spirituality.” This was the Holy Father's comment during a February 1990 conversation, as reported by Bishop Murilo Krieger, Auxiliary Bishop of Florianopolis, Brazil, made prior to His Grace's fourth Medjugorje pilgrimage. The Holy Father assented to Bishop Krieger's request and gave his papal blessing to the visionaries (National Catholic Register, April 29, 1990). Now if Pope John Paul II gave his Papal blessing to the visionaries, that’s enough to convince me it is authentic!

One last reason involves a personal experience by my mom. My family was attending a Medjugorje Conference in California, and Our Lady was appearing to Ivan Dragicevic in a room (and my dad was working as security, so he was blessed to be in the room at the time). A crowd was around the door to the room (my sister and I were right by the door and my mom was about 20-30 feet away), and when a lady opened the door (from the inside) to tell the crowd that Mary was appearing, my mom “felt a cool, fresh breeze of air and smelled roses”. My mom looked around quickly and no roses were anywhere in sight, and since it passed so suddenly, it was not perfume, and she even asked a person next to her if he smelt roses, to which he replied, “No.” And I will have you know that my mom has an extremely sensitive nose! My sister also smelt the roses. So, there is first hand proof of Mary appearing to one of the visionaries, Ivan.

Now, if you still decide not to believe in the apparitions of Medjugorje, that’s fine, but please do not write, proclaim, or say that it is false! Until the Vatican has made an official statement that Medjugorje is false, people are allowed to believe in and make pilgrimages to Medjugorje!

Thank you and God bless,
Victoria M.
___________________________

May I humbly submit to you that we avoid the criticism of spiritual events which have affected so many thousands of lives with a deeper faith; the evil one is active at moments of great grace. Our Lord tells us you shall know a tree by its fruit: look at the great fruit of Medjugorje!! No example you can give hides the great light of grace which has illuminated thousands of changed lives turned to Christ. If there are any dark shadows, clouds of misunderstanding, the dust of doubt, the evil one is surely there. Beware! Be sure of your sources of information, and avoid a spirit of critical judgment which tears down and gives scandal. Sometimes we seek to spread truth and stop what we perceive as error, but we might be in fact spreading error and stifling God’s great work. Pray for a spirit of understanding and read for yourself the sweet messages of your Mother calling her children to a greater faith in her Son.

God bless,
Vicki’s Mom

8 comments:

Clare Marie-Therese Duroc said...

Agreed that the blog you linked to is a little reactionary and has some bad information. I've read many, many discussions of Medjugorje, and most of the claims of that blog are entirely new to me.

My view on Medjugorje is Withholding Opinion, which essentially amounts to not presently believing the authenticity of the visions. This isn't to necessarily say that I think they're false, but I've heard so much conflicting information that I prefer to wait until the only one whose opinion matters, the Church, makes an official proclamation. I'll accept what they say.

But as to that last sentence I wrote, I would like to point out that the Church doesn't ask us to accept the authenticity of even approved apparitions, such as Lourdes and Fatima. It's entirely personal. An official proclamation on the Church's part simply means that it's safe to do so.

Finally, I'd just like to point out that until Medjugorje is officially declared by the Church to be authentic, it would probably be wise not to invest too much in it. If it does turn out that they proclaim it unauthentic, we wouldn't want our faith to be shaken because of that.

God bless!

Rose said...

I too was present one time when Our Lady appeared to Ivan! And it is interesting, and exciting, that you mention your mom felt "a cool fresh breeze", because that is what I felt too!

Victoria said...

Very well put Clare!

Rose, that is so cool!!! I didn't experience anything. *pouts*

Rose said...

Another note:
In case anyone was wondering, the Church can neither condemn, nor approve apparitions until after the apparitions have ceased to occur.

Paul Xavier said...

Good reply. Though I have to say, I must stand with the Church. There is no official declaration approving it nor disapproving it, so we must be VERY careful in choosing to believe in Medjugorje or not.

It's always good to have a Devil's Advocate Criticizing something. So that it may prove itself with the test, something which all the Saints have undergone during the canonization process.

In all honesty I do not know much about these apparitions, so I cannot openly comment yet.

Anonymous said...

I think that this is a very well thought out post and I thank you for keeping it charitable! :)
I do not know much about Medjugorje but my Aunt did go on a pilgrimage there awhile back....I don't know if she "felt" anything or not.
*Christi

Elle said...

Who is Our lady Of Medjugorji
i have never heard of her what is her story?

Victoria said...

Thanks for your comments everyone!!! Here is the website so you can read more on it: http://www.medjugorje.org/