June 29th

Medjugorje in the Summer of 1981. An oasis of peace was in the making, but first the ruling Communists turned Medjugorje into a nightmare of surveilance and harassment

Medjugorje in the Summer of 1981. An oasis of peace was in the making, but first the ruling Communists turned Medjugorje into a nightmare of surveilance and harassment

On the sixth day of the apparitions, the police sent the visionaries to yet another doctor, this time a psychiatrist. Before the morning Mass, they were forced into an ambulance and taken away. And now they were not only being sent to nearby Citluk, but to Mostar, the capital of the Yugoslavian province of Hercegovina. Here they passed all tests and examinations they were subjected to by Dr. Mulija Dzuzda who declared them all healthy and perfectly normal.

“It is the people who brought you here who must be insane. There is nothing wrong with you”, Dr. Dzuzda boldly told the visionaries.

To frighten the six, they first had to wait for an hour in the hallway. On one side, the insane were walking around in a courtyard; on the other was the hospital’s morgue where the seers saw corpses in various stages of autopsy. All six  except Vicka later admitted to having felt fear. “Why should I be afraid? Everyone dies. It is the common lot”, was Vicka’s reply

Threats that the visionaries, too, could end up among those declared mentally ill were particularly frightening to Mirjana who, living in Sarajevo, had heard of many cases where opponents of Communist party officials had been locked up in psychiatric wards, never to be heard from again.

“If they question me once more, I will have a nervous breakdown”, said Mirjana. At one point she even doubted she would go back to the Hill of Apparitions. As the time of the apparition approached, she found that no one or nothing could prevent her from returning to the hill. The question of whether or not she should go simply did not arise.

In the late afternoon the visionaries were allowed to go back to Medjugorje where all six except Ivan went straight to the Hill of Apparitions. When Ivan returned, he found his family home guarded by police and armed officers from the state security police who had been assigned to the homes of all the visionaries. Instructed to follow the movements of the seers, the guards barred doors, peered in windows, and  were even stationed on rooftops.

Surrounded to all sides by this hostility, Ivan’s parents forbade him to go to the hill. However, the decision to obey his parents made Ivan sick  to his stomach, and when the time of the apparition approached he tried to make it to the apparition, all through waves of nausea. Having walked half the way, he made a silent vow to himself never to be absent again, and at that moment the Virgin appeared to him by the roadside, consoloing him and asking him to have courage.

Vicka’s mother, too, began to sway as the pressure increased. During one of the earliest days she was waiting outside Fr. Jozo’s room while the parish priest questioned the seers. To another priest, Fr. Tomislav Pervan, she cried out: “Father, please try to get this crazy thing out of their minds. I cannot take it anymore! I have seven other children at home…and Grandma…and my husband is in Germany. And now all these police around the house and all that is happening and all this commotion around the house…and people gathering here. I cannot stand it. I cannot carry it anymore!”

Upon hearing this, Vicka talked to her mother, overheard by several priests: “But Mama, what can I say? I am seeing the Blessed Virgin”.

On the hill more than 15,000 people gathered that day. “Will we be able to endure all this?” was one understandable question put forth to the Virgin. “You will be able to endure, my angels. Do not fear. You will be able to endure everything. You must believe and have confidence in me”, was the Virgin Mary’s reply, according to the visionaries.

Darinka Glamuzina, doctor, declared atheist, and among the first medical specialists to take a look at the visionaries. In the years to come, a countless number of her colleagues would go on to conclude that the seers are healthy and perfectly normal – and to exclude all the known alternative explanations of the behavior of the visionaries during apparitions

On Apparition Hill another doctor showed up: Dr. Darinka Glamuzina, from Citluk and a declared atheist. Upon asking the visionaries she was allowed to touch the Virgin who, according to the visionaries, answered the request saying “There have always been Judases who don’t believe, but she can approach”.

Vicka showed the doctor where to place her hand. Upon touching the apparition, the doctor immediately pulled back her arm and withdrew. On her face was an expression that thrilled some, and frightened others. People close to her said it seemed like she experienced an electrical shock – the doctor herself later testified  that she had felt “a shudder”. People who saw her descend the hill said she looked severely shocked. At the foot of the hill, she told the waiting police that she wanted nothing more to do with their investigation.

June 29th also saw the first miraculous cure among the more than 500 for which documentation is today being kept in Medjugorje’s parish archive: Daniel Setka, a 3 years old boy who had been unable to speak as well as walk by himself throughout his young life, uttered his first word when his parents returned with him upon having had him presented to the Virgin during the apparition. The next day the family returned to the hill where Daniel was suddenly able to walk by himself. “Look, Mummy, I am walking!”, the little boy exclaimed. Many people witnessed this touching scene.

At the end of the day, the visionaries were together on the terrace belonging to Marinko and Dragica Ivankovic, a local couple who believed them from the beginning. Here they passed on everything the Virgin Mary had told them so far – to a large, enthusiastic crowd that refused to let them return to their homes until after 11 o’clock in the evening. During the first week the visionaries only had very little sleep. But things should turn even more exhausting for them.

See what happened next

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

Fr. Svetozar Kraljevic: “In the Company of Mary”, St. Francis Press 1988

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

Fr. René Laurentin: “Learning From Medjugorje”, The Word Among Us Press 1988

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

Mary Craig: “Spark From Heaven”, Ave Maria Press 1988