June 28th

The word kept spreading, and by the fifth day an estimated 15,000 people gathered on the hill. If men from the village had not made a path for the visionaries, they would have been unable to make their way through the crowd.

Among the many spectators was a local man named Grgo Kozina. He brought a tape recorder with him to be able to record any message the visionaries might obtain from the Virgin. They got quite a number but all the answers were essentially the same: The Virgin Mary wanted the locals to have faith, firm faith – to believe as if they had seen.

One of the earliest known photos of the visionaries, taken on the Hill of Apparitions on June 29th 1981. Left to right: Ivan, Marija, Mirjana, Ivanka, Vicka and Jakov. Far right: Grgo Kozina with his tape recorder, also in use the day before

Having just returned from the blissful state of the apparition, the visionaries next found themselves catapulted into a way less pleasant atmosphere: In the parish rectory they were aggressively questioned by the assistant pastor, Fr. Zrinko Cuvalo.

Fr. Zrinko chose to be purposefully antagonistic by asking the visionaries apparantly hostile questions. By subjecting them to a maximum of pressure, Fr. Zrinko wanted to test their reaction; at times he even claimed to visionaries to have been acting contrary to what he himself had seen with his own eyes during the apparition shortly before.

The visionaries stood by their word, by now more or less used to the hard questioning from the priests. Another such hour-long session had taken place early in the morning when Fr. Jozo, the parish priest, had questioned all six of them separately. During this interview session, particularly Vicka had made an impression upon him by answering back to questions she found silly, meaningless.

“Was the Virgin vexed when, yesterday, people stood on her veil?”, Fr. Jozo wanted to know. “Look, Our Lady cannot be ‘vexed’. She is not like us. She had no problem”, Vicka replied. “Why does the Virgin wear such a long veil?”, another priest asked. “How should I know?” said Vicka in reply. “Then what caused the Madonna to disappear?”, Fr. Jozo asked her next – only to be met with the answer: “Ask her!”.

As things turned out, a few more days would pass by until Fr. Jozo got that opportunity presented to him.

See what happened next

Sources:
Fr. Svetozar Kraljevic: “The Apparitions of Our Lady at Medjugorje”, third English edition, Informativni Centar “Mir” Medjugorje 2010

Fr. Janko Bubalo: “A Thousand Encounters with The Virgin Mary in Medjugorje”, Friends of Medjugorje Chicago 1987

Randall Sullivan: “The Miracle Detective”, Grove Press 2004