The visionaries are modern-time prophets
A few months into the apparitions the Virgin Mary began to entrust to the visionaries informations they were not allowed to share with other people. These informations are prophecies – future events foretold by the Virgin. Within the Medjugorje movement they are referred to as ‘the secrets’, a term that the visionaries were themselves the first to coin.
According to the visionaries, the events will take place during their lifetimes. The six visionaries were born between 1964 and 1971. At least in the case of Mirjana the events will be foretold to the world before they take place. Three days before, to be exact.
Each of the visionaries will receive 10 such secrets, they have said from the beginning. Some of them have to do with beautiful events while at least the last four ones are more or less disasterous as they have to do with God’s due punishment for the sins of mankind.
Some of the secrets are global in nature, others local, and yet others have to do with the seers themselves. According to Mirjana (who says she knows the timing of each secret down to the hour and minute), “the dates of the secrets have not altered and cannot be”. (1)
While Mirjana will have a key role when the secrets are to be revealed, it appears that Ivanka, too, knows a lot:
”It is well-known that Vicka has written notebooks about the Virgin Mary’s life, but what isn’t well-known is that Ivanka has several notebooks of her own; about the world’s future”, the very knowledgable French nun Sr. Emmanuel Maillard has written. (2)
The visionaries: Do not fear, but prepare
In spite of their knowledge and despite that the later secrets made all the visionaries sad, they have repeatedly said that no one should fear the 10 secrets. Instead they have repeatedly urged everyone to prepare – by making good use of this time which the Virgin Mary has called “a time of grace”: A time to convert and return to God thorugh prayer, fasting, confession, going to church and reading the Bible.
“People always ask me curious questions about the secrets. But I tell them that the Virgin Mary has said that we should not talk about the secrets, but that we should pray. Anyone who accepts the Virgin Mary as his Mother and God as his Father does not have to worry about anything”, Mirjana said in 2001 and, indeed, on many other occasions. (3)
“There is no need to frighten people. The Virgin Mary does not come to frighten anyone. That is not her goal. She comes to help us”, Ivan said in 1992 and, again, on many other occasions. (4)
“With prayer and penance the chastisement can be lessened. I can only say: Prepare. If you do, you will thank God for all eternity”, Vicka has said. (5)
Secrets are about the world, each person, the Church, Medjugorje, and the seers
During their adult lives the visionaries have said less and less about the secrets. Their approach was slightly more informative in the early years of the apparitions. And so, in an interview conducted in early December 1982, four of the visionaries gave somewhat revealing answers to the Franciscan priest Fr. Ljudevit Rupcic. It is worthy of mention that, by the time of this interview, none of the seers had received the tenth secret. Mirjana knew 9, Vicka and Ivanka 7 and Marija only 6 of the secrets:
Marija: “[My secrets] have to do with us, the Church, people in general.”
Mirjana: “They have to do with us ourselves, the sign, the whole world, and also Medjugorje.”
Ivanka: “Some concern us personally, others, the Church and the world.”
Vicka: “The first secret has to do with our church in Medjugorje. It has to do as well with the sign, humanity in general, and each person. The secrets speak of the Church in general. There are some which concern us.” (6)
Generally the seers know the same secrets
Another topic to raise some speculation has been if the visionaries know the same secrets. Otherwise the total number of future events covered by the secrets could be thought to (even far) outnumber the ten to be entrusted to each visionary. On this note Vicka gave the answer in a 1983 interview with the local Franciscan priest Fr. Janko Bubalo:
Fr. Janko: “Are those secrets the same for each of you?”
Vicka: “They are and they aren’t.”
Fr. Janko: “And how is that?”
Vicka: “Just so. The main secrets are the same, but perhaps some of us have a secret which applies to us alone.”
Fr. Janko: “Do you have such a secret?
Vicka: “I have one. It is for me alone, since it concerns me only.”
Fr. Janko: “Do the others have any such secrets?”
Vicka: “That I don’t know. It seems to me that Ivan does.”
Fr. Janko: “I know that Mirjana, Ivanka, and Marija don’t have any since they told me. I don’t, however, know for little Jakov. He didn’t want to answer me on that point, while Ivan said that he had three which concern him only.” (7)
”None of my secrets are secrets that relate only to me. The secrets are for the entire world”, Mirjana confirmed on September 13th 1998, during a Q and A session at the Chicago Marian Conference. (8)
The secrets determine the duration of each seer’s daily apparitions
At least so far the reception of the tenth and final secret has meant the end of daily apparitions for the visionaries who received the tenth secret. This happened first to Mirjana (in 1982), then to Ivanka (in 1985), and then to Jakov (in 1998). According to their testimonies, Vicka, Marija and Ivan have received nine secrets each and so still have daily apparitions.
For many years it was commonly believed that none of the visionaries would still have daily apparitions by the time when the secrets begin to unfold. As such, it was one of the biggest pieces of substantial news on Medjugorje for years when, in January 2008, Vicka told Radio Maria that one visionary will still have daily apparitions, even throughout the entire revelation:
Interviewer: “You also said the last time [we spoke], last year, that during the time of the ten secrets one of the seers will still have the daily apparitions?”.
Vicka: “Yes, it is certain, it is something I repeat now. We will see who it is, there is still me, Marija and Ivan. Afterwards we will see who the Madonna has chosen, who [of us three] remains with the apparitions. Or maybe it will be someone else that the Madonna has chosen.”
Vicka: “The Madonna told me personally. Afterwards we shall see, the Madonna didn’t say, “Vicka, it will be you” [...]. Now we just wait to see who it will be. She said that when the time comes, to the person who will continue to have the apparitions, she will explain every ‘how and what’ to that person. ” (9)
Mirjana’s key role in the revelation
One visionary to whom the Virgin Mary has already “explained every how and what” is Mirjana. The first visionary to receive the tenth secret, Mirjana was also entrusted the mission of revealing her secrets to the world when the time comes. This she will do through the Franciscan priest Fr. Petar Ljubicic whom she chose for this purpose in 1985.
Since then Mirjana has explained the procedure on countless occasions: Ten days before each event she will alert Fr. Petar that an event covered by the secrets is about to occur. Then the two of them will pray and fast for seven days. Three days before each occurence, Mirjana has said, Fr. Petar will make public what will happen three days later.
According to Mirjana, the priest will do this after having been (supernaturally) enabled to read the secret on a parchment that Mirjana says has been given to her by the Virgin Mary. She has said that this parchment lists the contents of all her ten secrets, but that Fr. Petar will only be enabled to read them one at a time. Mirjana has said that she knows the timing of each of her secrets down to the hour and minute.
”You don’t have to worry about anything. You will know everything”, Mirjana has answered the question of how the world will be made aware that one of the secrets is about to unfold. (8)
When Fr. Petar and Mirjana release the first secret, they will announce an event that, according to Mirjana, “will make people pause and think”.
(1) Michael H. Brown: “When Will the Permanent Sign Foreseen at Medjugorje Occur?”, Spirit Daily 2001
(2) Sr. Emmanuel Maillard: “Medjugorje, the 90s”, Queenship Publications 1997
(3) Medjugorje Gebetsaktion no. 61, June 2001
(4) Medjugorje Gebetsaktion no. 28, January 1993
(5) Janice Connell: “Queen of the Cosmos”, Paraclete Press 1990
(6) Fr. Ljudevit Rupcic and Fr. René Laurentin: “Is the Virgin Mary Appearing at Medjugorje?”, The Word Among Us Press 1984
(7) Fr. Janko Bubalo: “A Thousand Encounters with the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje”, Friends of Medjugorje Chicago 1987
(8) Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo: Q and A session in Chicago on September 13th 1998, quoted here from medjugorje.org
(9) Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic interviewed by Radio Maria on January 2nd 2008