One of the most peculiar and fascinating aspects of "secrets" as claimed at the famous apparition site of Medjugorje is the notion that a visionary named Mirjana Dragicevic Soldo received a mysterious parchment on which her messages are written.
It is of course impossible to verify without seeing. No journalists have seen it, nor have priests, at least not any who have proclaimed such in public.
And it seems so implausible.
Yet, there is at least one historical precedent in the literature of mystical theology, to our recollection, and Mirjana, who was educated at the University of Sarajevo, and whose father was a hospital radiographer, has always been a credible woman, passing even tests conducted with a lie detector.
Mirjana, who was the second youngster to see the Blessed Mother on June 24, 1981 and the first to receive all ten promised secrets, was interviewed for a book called Visions of the Children by a prominent attorney named Jan Connell, who asked how she remembered the secrets.
"I have them written down," said Mirjana.
"In your own handwriting?" asked the lawyer.
"In the Blessed Mother's handwriting?"
"I received a parchment with the secrets written on it from the Blessed Mother," claimed Mirjana -- as she also told others in the 1990s, for your discernment.
Can there really be a physical substance from an apparition? And what about actual writing? There was of course the manna that rained from the sky in biblical times, the issuance of the Ten Commandments on tablets, and a strange if ethereal glitter that was reported at the apparition site of Fatima. Materialization of liquid and even blood on "miraculous" statues might be cited as another example. There have been Eucharistic miracles (allegedly involving materialization of hosts), and objects such as the Shroud of Turin.
But it remains an extraordinary claim.
The parchment, Mirjana said at the time, was kept in her bedroom at her family's house in Sarajevo (she had been spending summers with a grandmother in Medjugorje when the apparitions began). A source close to her says it is believed it is no longer in that city but in the Medjugorje vicinity.
"If I looked at that parchment, what would I see?" asked the attorney.
"Everyone who has seen it has seen something different," replied the visionary.
But only Mirjana can see what it says, and what it spells out, allegedly -- and incredibly -- is all ten of her secrets.
"The ten secrets are written on this parchment?" asked the lawyer.
"That means you don't have to remember the secrets. You can pull that parchment and read it?"
"I remember everything," said Mirjana, who is now 43. "I don't need the parchment to remember the secrets."
Might it be that when the time comes her priest will view it?
It was upon reception of the tenth in December of 1982 that Mirjana's daily apparitions ended. She still sees Mary on the second of each month as well as her birthday March 18 and often she speaks to the Blessed Mother about those secrets.
At times, the seer has been seen to cry during those purported encounters. During one, Mirjana seemed whipped back and forth three times as by the wind. "The Blessed Mother was speaking to me about very serious things," she said afterwards.
That apparition occurred in 1990 in Portland.
Her first two secrets will be publicly announced several days before they occur by a priest she chose specifically to do this, Father Petar Ljubicic, who now resides in Germany (and who made a special trip to speak to our pilgrim group during our last pilgrimage, left).
The first two of her secrets involve warnings to the world. According to Father Petar, they will occur in Medjugorje. It is also this priest's opinion that events in the world seem to draw us closer to that first secret -- although the visionary has been very strict on releasing any detail and has confirmed no opinions.
Mirjana told Connell in the book that "the first two secrets will be warnings to the world -- events that will occur before a visible sign is given to humanity. These will happen in my lifetime. Ten days before the first secret and the second secret, I will notify Father Petar."
What she has said is that "the first secret will break the power of Satan, and that is why he is aggressive now."
Fascinating is this too from Visions of the Children:
"According to Mirjana, there were three things Satan did not know:
-- The Eternal Father would send Mary, the 'woman' of His covenant with His people, throughout the century, to warn, encourage, and mother the souls struggling in this time of great darkness.
-- The Eternal Father would permit such vast amounts of grace in the world as has never before been known in the history of mankind.
-- The Eternal Father would send chosen souls who would remain faithful no matter what the allure or attack of Satan."
Asked if her secrets involved global economic collapse, Mirjana said that, "I don't know anything about that." Like others, she has emphasized the importance of "recognizing the signs of our times" but not to the point of fear or obsession. "The secrets will unfold in my lifetime. I can say no more. Please ask people not to focus on the future. Our life is one day at a time. Tomorrow is no threat for those who trust God."
[resources: Jan Connell's Visions of the Children and Queen of the Cosmos]