Medjugorje – More than a Private Revelation

imBy Stephen K. Ryan

Medjugorje – More than a Private Revelation

Doubters and critics persistently refer to Medjugorje as a “Private revelation” which is meant to demean and diminish the events taking place there, but after thirty years of alleged apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary and millions of pilgrims flocking to the town, there is very little  about Medjugorje that is “private”    .  

The Bishop of Mostar, Bishop Peric - a man who has spoken out strongly in the past against the apparitions of Medjugorje -  now, it seems, has moved away from the idea that Medjugorje is nothing more than a collection of unapproved “Private Revelations”.  This past weekend the Bishop talked of Medjugorje as perhaps the next Jerusalem if things work out well or the next Babylon if Medjugorje is devoured by commercialism.  Either way Bishop Peric understands that Medjugorje is much more than a case of six people experiencing interior locutions. Medjugorje has taken on a life of its own.

Skeptics say “Private revelations” can be ignored by the faithful because they do not add to the body of the Catholic faith. Technically, even the “Seers” would not argue with that narrow definition. But in practice and in reality, Medjugorje is no longer simply a “private revelation" but rather Medjugorje is a major spiritual “movement” – an enormous spiritual happening unrivaled in modern times.  The Bishop of Mostar has accepted this reality.  The word Medjugorje no longer only refers to  a town in Bosnia/Herzegovania  but rather the word represents a style of Catholicism that is deeply  rooted in peace and above all the  Medjugorje "movement" means putting God in the first place in our lives.

To many fanatical fans of football, like Notre Dame, or politically active Catholics, putting God in the first place is often easier said than done. I am a product of the Catholic school system, both as a student, and as a parent, I can say from experience Catholic school communities are often dominated by pride -pride in our school, pride in our football team, pride in our children. My Catholic school in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., is also dominated by political views.  Catholic faith is often measured by ones voting record. To some folks I have encountered, Medjugorje and the message of peace, is  viewed as dramatically radical and foreign and because of this I rarely bring up the subject in "polite" company.   

Medjugorje is a movement - it is an ideal. Medjugorje represents an unprecedented spiritual path and as the Vatican investigation committee moves towards a final decision it appears now have two decisions to make. First the Vatican must determine is the supernatural is at work, and second if a negative ruling is reached they must decide what to do with the enormous spiritual fruits that have occured because of Medjugorje.

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