According to believers, 35 years ago the Virgin Mary first appeared in Međugorje.Tens of thousands of pilgrims, many of whom walked from the nearby villages in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, gathered on Saturday at masses and devotions in Međugorje which mark the 35th anniversary of the beginning of the apparitions of Our Lady, reports dalmacijanews.hr on June 25, 2016.
According to the Information Centre “Peace” in Međugorje, from early morning masses of believers flow towards the parish church of St. James, where masses in 20 languages are being conducted from 5 am, and towards the Apparition Hill in Bijakovići.
In addition to Croatian and Bosnian faithful, many pilgrims have arrived from Italy, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Switzerland, Lebanon, South Africa, Poland, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Sri Lanka, Slovakia, Spain, the United States. Romania, Hungary, Portugal, Korea and other countries.
The mass in the Croatian language at 11 am was led by Ivan Dugandžić who urged the faithful to follow the way of Jesus and the messages of Our Lady which are filled with calls to conversion and peace. Božo Milić said that the messages have a global dimension. “When Our Lady says peace, there are so many people who have made peace here with their families. When Our Lady says peace, then it is peace which spreads throughout the world”, he said. The main mass this evening will be led by Branko Radoš, the head of the Croatian Catholic Mission in Lucerne.
Međugorje is still awaiting the official position of the Holy See after the special international commission completed its work and submitted its opinion to the Holy See.
According to the claims of six children, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared for the first time on 24 June 1981 at the Apparition Hill in Međugorje. They got scared and ran away from there. When they came back the next day, the Virgin Mary appeared again and sent her messages and calls to prayer and peace which have continued to this day.
According to the Information Centre “Peace” in Međugorje, during the last 35 years Međugorje has been visited by more than 40 million pilgrims.