Medjugorje: The First Days

This is an examination of parts of James Mulligan's Medjugorje The First Days.  It shows that even in the first week, Medjugorje showed no credibility as a genuine apparition.  The apparition never said anything productive either.

Jacov and Fra Jozo Zovko

Fra Jozo Zovko: Would I be able to see? What do you think, if I went?
Jakov: You would be able to see.
Fra Jozo Zovko: And you’ll go tonight won’t you?
Jakov: I will.
Fra Jozo Zovko: And what if they stop you? If they don’t allow you to go. Mama or someone else?
Jakov: Who’s going to stop me if I want to go? Me, that is…the desire draws me up there.
Fra Jozo Zovko: And if Mama says no.
Jakov: She can’t stop me. I’ll want to…
Fra Jozo Zovko: Yes, I know, but when God tells us listen to your Mama. What will you say then?
Jakov: I will go to God above…I will go to the Gospa above, and that’s it.

Comment: Jakov is going to go to the Gospa even if God himself forbids it!! 

Ivan and Zrinko Cuvalo

Fra Zrinko Cuvalo: What kind of face did she have?
Ivan: Her cheeks were rosy, delicate.
Fra Zrinko Cuvalo: Rosy.
Ivan: Not exactly rosy, pale rather.
Fra Zrinko Cuvalo: I know, mean to say smooth cheeks. Did she have any birthmark?
(No reply to this question from Ivan).
Fra Zrinko Cuvalo: You don’t remember? Let’s go back a bit. You were in the village when they told you that the Gospa was appearing to them?

Comment: Notice how he says rosy cheeks and then contradicts himself completely.  He is cagey as if she really did have a birthmark.  The Church would tend to argue that a blemished vision of Mary is not really her but Satan messing around.

Fra Zrinko Cuvalo: Did she say, “Be reconciled amongst yourselves?”
Ivan: Yes, she did say that.
Fra Zrinko Cuvalo: How is it that you don’t recall that? You don’t remember it? Do you think that she truly said that? Do you really think so?
Ivan: I think so.
Fra Zrinko Cuvalo: Are you telling a lie?
Ivan: I am not telling a lie.

Comment: He is acting as if he were lying.

The Case of the Veil

Marija: I just saw her, she was carrying nothing.

Fra Jozo Zovko: And when you were praying.

Marija: And when we were all praying the people started praying with us.  Then she appeared and there was crowd.  Everybody wanted to see the place where she was.  And her long veil was way down, close to the ground.  The veil was hanging on the ground and people stepped on it.  She disappeared and we...

Fra Jozo Zovko: They were stepping on it ...

Marija: Stepping on it...

Fra Jozo Zovko: Why didn't you tell them not to step?

Marija: But we did say, "Don't, don't", when everybody rushed to see her.  I mean some.  We started, we were standing and she disappeared.

Ivanka: They started stepping on her dress, so she was disappearing.

Fra Jozo Zovko: And you can see that they are stepping on her?

Ivanka: Yes.

Comment: In other apparitions the Vision is immune to physical interference.  The Virgin would not bodily come from Heaven to engage in a grotesque charade like having people trample her veil.

Mary does not know where Ivan is

Ivan was not present at this apparition.  One reason put forward subsequently was that he had severe stomach cramps.  Another version had it that his mother ordered him not to go.  Whatever the reason he was despondent that he could not make the trek to the hill.  (Our Lady had noticed his absence and had asked: Where is that boy?)

Comment: So Mary does not prepare her apparitions in advance?  Shouldn't she know where Ivan is? 

Ivan is rewarded for parental disobedience with an apparition

Vicka: The younger Ivan wasn't with us.  His mother, father didn't allow him to go up.  They thought he was lying.  And he left the house.  They followed him.  He came to the road and he said, "Here!  You can't help it - I see her again."

Mirjana is tricked by the vision

Mirjana: I was just eating and they came for us and we ran uphill and prayed.

Fra Jozo Zovko: And her (The Gospa) did you see her?

Mirjana: No.  She didn't come.

Fra Jozo Zovko: And has she ever tricked you before, to call like this, and not come. 

Mirjana does not answer this question and instead answers yes to "Did she come yesterday?"

The lady comes for a few days only and is still appearing decades later!

Mirjana: I asked how many days will she stay with us?  She said, "Three days."

Fra Jozo Zovko: More?

Mirjana: Three days more.  That means until Friday.

Against what is said below, Vicka has been proven by the Jean Louis incident to be a liar in saying she is conscious of nothing but Mary

Ivanka: I don't hear anything, I only hear the Gospa when I ask her a question.  I don't see the people at all I only see Gospa.

Vicka: When the Virgin appeared, there was neither a sign of the car, or of anyone.  Why, it's the same as when we see the Virgin in that room.  We see the Virgin, but we don't see anything else or sense anything else.

I will let a priest have the last word:

"Particularly in the early period of the phenomenon there were several very unusual messages. According to a tape-recording transcript from June 30, 1981, the seers reported, according to the assertion of the “Gospa”, the end of the appearances would be in three days (on July 3), but they then went on. At the sixth apparition (June 29, 1981), the “Gospa” announced the healing of a four-year-old boy, but it never happened. Furthermore, the “Gospa” informed them (May 25, 1984) that her two-thousandth birthday would fall on August 5, 1984. Would the real Mother of God propagate a birthday celebration for herself, that sets itself apart from the date of the liturgical feast (September 8)? If the given date were to be correct historically, then Mary would have been born in the year 16 B.C. Since, because of the historical data known to us (folk tales, astronomical connections), the birth of Christ is to be set at 7 B.C., then Mary would be about 9 years old at the birth of Christ. Besides untruths and ridiculous things, some erroneous teachings are also presented alongside them: Fr. Vlasic wrote on May 8, 1982, in the Chronicle he authored, that according to the utterance of the “Gospa” the Saints in Heaven are present there not only with the soul, but also with the body. Here on display is the erroneous teaching, widely spread today, but condemned by the Church, of “resurrection in death”, in which awaiting the future resurrection at the Second Coming of Christ is rendered nugatory. In other words: alongside plenty of catechetical platitudes that are found with notably more substance in the Bible and the Catechism, the messages contain elements that speak clearly against a supernatural origin of the phenomenon." It is a fact that in the early days the "seers" did not pretend to go into a trance and were able to talk to people beside them during the apparitions.  The trances came later and the evidence is that they are faked.  An apparition without trance fails to convince most people.

For further reading


Hector Avalos, “Mary at Medjugorje: A Critical Inquiry,” Free Inquiry 14:2 (Spring, 1994):48-54.
Epiphanius, The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, translated by Frank Williams (2 vols. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1994).
Donal Anthony Foley, Understanding Medjugorje: Heavenly Vision or Religious Illusion? (Nottingham, UK: Theotokos Books, 2006).
René Laurentin and Ljudevit Rupcic, Is the Virgin Mary Appearing at Medjugorje? (Gaithersburg, MD: The Word Among Us Press, 1984).
-- and Henri Joyeux, Scientific and Medical Studies on the Apparitions at Medjugorje (Dublin: Veritas, 1987).
Albert J. Hebert, Medjugorje: An Affirmation and Defense (Paulina, LA:Albert Hebert, 1990).
Daria Klanac, Aux sources de Medjugorje (Montreal: Éditions Sciences et Culture, 1998).
Elliott Miller and Kenneth R. Samples, The Cult of the Virgin: Catholic Mariology and the Apparitions of Mary (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1993).
Mark Miravalle, The Message of Medjugorje: The Marian Message for the Modern World (Lanham, MD: University Press of America,1986).
Candida Moss, The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented the Story of Martyrdom (New York:HarperOne, 2013).
Michael O’Carroll, Medjugorje: Facts, Documents, Theology (Dublin:Veritas, 1986).
Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, translated by Patrick Lynch (Rockford, ILL: Tan Books and Publishers, 1960).
Jaroslav Pelikan, Mary Through the Centuries: Her Place in the History of Culture (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996).
Stephen J. Shoemaker, Ancient Traditions of the Virgin Mary’s Dormition and Assumption (Oxford, 2006).
-- “Epiphanius of Salamis, The Kollyridians, and Early Church Dormition Narratives: The Cult of the Virgin in the Fourth Century,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 16, no. 3 (Fall 2008):371-401.
Ivo Sivric, The Hidden Side of Medjugorje, Volume 1, edited by L. Belanger and translated by S. Rini (Saint-François-du-Lac:Psilog, 1989).


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