Schools closed for Ivan’s Italy premiere
3,000 attendees were less than expected for visionary Ivan Dragicevic’s first stop on his week-long tour of Italy. Some buses never arrived, but both schools and roads were closed in Monteforte where the mayor watched Ivan from his window to avoid to draw attention to himself.
Medjugorje visionary Ivan Dragicevic opened eight busy days with seven talks and public apparitions in Italy on Saturday. 6,000 people were expected in Monteforte near Verona, but only about half the number turned up, partly because certain buses failed to arrive.
The turnout ended at an estimated 3,000 people who were welcomed by 300 volunteers, the Italian online media L’Arena reports. Schools and roads were closed to make room for the event named a prayer marathon by organizsers.
The arrangement began at 10.30 am, with L’Arena noting “a slow bustle” that took place throughout the day before undergoing “a remarkable surge” at 5 pm, little less than two hours before Ivan’s public apparition at 6.40 pm (see video below).
If organizers were slightly disappointed at an audience smaller than expected, the Virgin Mary was not, Ivan told the crowd upon his five minutes long apparition.
“Our Lady said that her heart was filled with joy at seeing so many people” Ivan said.
“She renewed her call to prayer, in particular in families” the visionary also passed on.
Parish priest Fr. Alessandro Bonetti looked more to quality than quantity in describing his parishioners’ reaction to the day-long prayer meeting.
“I see the search for answers to be able to move forward, a remarkable composure in people who are waiting for a sign, a message” the parish priest said.
Mayor Carlo Tessari followed the prayer meeting from the window of his office which overlooks the square.
“It was a choice to be here, but it did not seem right to be in the front row just because I am the mayor. It is a great event for the country, and for this I thank the pastor” Tessari commented.
Also in attendance was regional director Stefano Valdegamberi.
“Medjugorje bears very positive fruit, beyond if one believes it or not. There, vocations are born, life changes, and commitment. There, the void of true values is being filled. I applaud Fr. Alessandro and the others to whom thanks is due because even those who can not go to Medjugorje have the opportunity to live this experience” the regional director said.
Ivan’s apparition on September 15th 2012 in Monteforte, Italy.
The apparition begins at 0.44