The four last secrets are very serious
Statements from the visionaries leave no believer in the apparitions doubting that at least the last four secrets have to do with very serious events. While, today, the visionaries usually refuse to answer questions about the secrets in any great detail, they were more outspoken in the early and mid 1980s.
Most details can be derived from an interview book put together by the late Franciscan priest Fr. Janko Bubalo. During the early 1980s he served as Vicka’s confessor and while Fr. Janko does most of the talking in the following sequence, two points are worthy of notice::
Fr. Janko was present and saw the spontaneous recations of the visionaries during the apparitions when they received a number of the later secrets – and not at one point does Vicka interrupt and correct her confessor:
Fr. Janko: ”Last year, 1982, she revealed to Ivanka and to Jakov that awful ninth secret. That was on the first day of the novena in honor of the Immaculate Conception. And on the very day of the feast (December 8th), she revealed to you that sad eighth secret. And this year, 1983, on the very feast itself, she revealed to Marija the already mentioned ninth.”
”It is interesting that I, both last year and this year, was at the apparition and that I took note of how unhappy and awkward you were on both the occasions at the revelation of the secrets – last year on Ivanka and you, and this year on Marija.”
”We already mentioned somewhere what it was that Ivanka told me at the time, and Marija told me the same this year. For when, in jest, I told her that she seemed frightened, she, quite seriously, told me that I, too, would have been frightened had I heard.”
Vicka: ”And she told you well!”,
Pain and tears on the visionaries’ faces
Having received this confirmation from Vicka, Fr. Janko Bubalo went on:
Fr. Janko: ”It was on November 29th 1982. (…) During the time of the encounter, I noiced two different moods in you, the seers. You were smiling and bright-eyed as usual, even though you were seriously sick at the time. Marija was bright-eyed, if serious, as she usually is. But on Ivanka and Jakov’s faces it appeared as though they were experiencing something painful. I noticed some sort of spasm on Ivanka – as though she was about to cry.”
Vicka: ”At that time, the Virgin gave them the ninth secret and did not do so to Marija and me.”
Fr. Janko: ”Well, I heard that also at the time. I later asked Ivanka as to whether or not the Virgin showed her any glimpse of the secret. And, almost through tears, she said: ’Why, I would have died had she shown it to me!’ ”
”I experienced something on the very day of the Immaculate Conception. I was with you then also, at your encounter with the Virgin. Again, something interesting, namely, on that occasion you, who normally look happy at the encounters, seemed somehow serious”, Fr. Janko said.
Vicka: ”Perhaps. At the time, I also received the eighth secret.”. (1)
Fr. Janko’s impressions were confirmed by a group of pilgrims who were present when visionary Marija Pavlovic received her second-last secret:
”Marija received the ninth secret before our eyes in the Chapel of Apparitions. She cried grievously”, one of the pilgrims told BBC journalist Mary Craig. (2)
During the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina, in the midst of genocide and terrible war crimes, Vicka’s cousin Karlo called to mind Vicka’s and Marija’s reactions to receiving the later secrets. On September 22nd 1992 he said:
”Vicka, remember how you cried when you received your seventh, eighth and ninth secrets, and Marija also? If you say that the Virgin did not mention this war precisely in the secrets, then, what are we waiting for?”
”You have just given yourself the answer to your question”, Vicka replied. (3)
The tenth secret is the most serious
BBC reporter Mary Craig also relays an event that took place in the mid-1980s – while a team of French and Italian scientists examined the visionaries and their apparitions: During an apparition they noted how visionary Jakov Colo suddenly stopped breathing for 10 seconds.
Afterwards Jakov explained that the Virgin Mary had shown him the visible results of one of the secrets. (2)
It would be 13 years after that until Jakov received his tenth and last secret on September 12th 1998 – an event that also signified the end of his daily apparitions. The same day he relayed how the Virgin Mary had looked while telling him the secret:
”While she was confiding the tenth secret to me, she was sad.” (4)
Among the visionaries, Mirjana was the first to receive the tenth secret. Chosen by the Virgin as early as 1982 to one day reveal the secrets to the world, Mirjana, too, has given rather informative interviews about them:
”The eighth secret is worse than the other seven. I prayed for a long time that it might be less severe. Every day, when Our Lady came, I pestered her, asking that it be mitigated. Then she said that everyone should pray that it might be lessened”, Mirjana told the Franciscan priest Fr. Tomislav Vlasic on January 10th 1983, sixteen days after receiving the tenth secret had ended her daily apparitions.
”So, in Sarajevo, I got many people to join me in this prayer. Later Our Lady told me that she had been able to have the secret lessened. But then she told me the ninth secret and it was even worse. The tenth secret is totally bad and cannot be lessened whatsoever. I cannot say anything about it because even a word would disclose the secret before it is time to do so.” (5)
Prayer and fasting can lessen the secrets
Mirjana only said that her tenth secret cannot be lessened. The other ones can – through, first of all, prayer and fasting. Through still more people setting out on the path of conversion. In an early message the Virgin Mary even said:
”Through prayer and fasting, one can stop wars, one can suspend the laws of nature.” (July 21st 1982)
Everything depends on individual conversion. For each individual, but also on a global scale:
”The only thing that I would want to tell you is to be converted. Make that known to all my children as soon as possible. No pain, no suffering is too great for me in order to save you. I will pray to my Son not to punish the world; but I plead with you, be converted”, the Virgin Mary also said (June 24th 1983)
The message continues – prayer, fasting and penance are in focus:
”You cannot imagine what is going to happen nor what the Eternal Father will send to earth. That is why you must be converted! Renounce everything. Do penance. Express my thanks to all my children who have prayed and fasted. I carry all this to my Divine Son in order to obtain an alleviation of His justice against the sins of mankind. I thank the people who have prayed and fasted. Persevere and help me to convert the world.” (June 24th 1983)
Too late for many when secrets unfold
A few years later, once more the Virgin Mary brought up the secrets – establishing a deadline in saying “it will be too late” to convert when the secrets unfold. Conversion takes a whole life and so the Virgin Mary pleads with everyone to make good use of this time which, on many occasions, she has called “a time of grace” and even “the time of grace”. The time for conversion is now:
”Concerning the secrets, my children, these are not known by the people. But when they learn of them, it will be too late. Return to prayer! There is nothing more important! I would dearly wish that the Lord would permit me to enlighten you a little more on these secrets, but the grace which is offered to you is already great enough. Think how much you have offended Him. What are you offering to Him of yourself? When was the last time you renounded something for the Lord? I no longer wish to reprimand you in this way, but I want to invite you once more to prayer, fasting, and penance.” (January 28th 1987)
”There never was an age such as this one, never before was God honored and respected less than now, never before have so few prayed to Him. Everything seems to be more important than God. This is the reason she cries so much”, Mirjana said during an interview in October 1985. (6)
” The number of unbelievers is becoming greater and greater As they endeavor for a better life, to such people, God Himself is superfluous and dispensable. This is why I feel deeply sorry for them and for the world. They have no idea what awaits them. If they could only take a tiny peek at these secrets, if they could see, they would convert in time. Still, Our Lady gave us God’s ten secrets. They may still convert. Certainly God always forgives those who genuinely convert.”, Mirjana continued.
”Our Lady said people should prepare themselves spiritually, be ready and not panic; be reconciled in their souls. They should be ready for the worst, to die tomorrow. They should accept God now so that they will not be afraid. They should accept God, and everything else. No one accepts death easily, but they can be at peace in their souls if they are believers. If they are commited to God, He will accept them”, Mirjana told Fr. Tomislav Vlasic on January 10th 1983. (5)
”This means total conversion and surrender to God?”
”Yes”, Mirjana confirmed.
While the later secrets will be dramatic, indeed, the Virgin Mary has also prophecied that a new and better world will be born from the secrets. Announced by the Virgin Mary as the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart, this new way of life on earth will crown her apparitions in what she has foretold to be a time of peace.
(1) Fr. Janko Bubalo: ”A Thousand Encounters with the Blessed Virgin Mary in Medjugorje”, Friends of Medjugorje Chicago 1987
(2) Mary Craig: ”Spark From Heaven”, Ave Maria Press 1988
(3) Sr. Emmanuel Maillard: ”Medjugorje – The War Day By Day”, Florida Center For Peace 1993
(4) Jakov Colo: Public statement of September 12th 1998
(5) Fr. Svetozar Kraljevic: ”The Apparitions of Our Lady at Medjugorje”, 3rd English edition, Informativni Centar ”Mir” Medjugorje 2010
(6) Mijana Dragicevic interviewed by Fr. Petar Ljubicic on October 26th 1985; quoted from the news service Spirit Daily