Thousands Flock to Mark Anniversary

by Jakob Marschner

Medjugorje is packed with people celebrating the 31st anniversary of the Virgin Mary’s apparitions. Visionary Ivan Dragicevic tells Mary has prepared him by reminding him of the first days in 1981. Ivan and fellow visionary Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti will have apparition together on June 25.

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Pilgrims in Medjugorje on June 23

Throngs of pilgrims from all over the world are in Medjugorje celebrating the anniversary of the apparitions, and still more are expected to follow on June 25, the official anniversary day.

“There are many thousands of people here in Medjugorje, and many more will come tomorrow for the celebration. It is incredible!” MaryTV message commentator Cathy Nolan reports in her daily reflection.

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Visionary Ivan Dragicevic giving testimony in his private chapel on June 24. Photo: MaryTV

Cathy Nolan spends the anniversary week in visionary Ivan Dragicevic’s house, and tells Ivan will not be alone during his apparition on June 25. Like on some previous anniversary days, he will be joined by fellow visionary Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti.

Earlier this week, Ivan hinted that the Virgin Mary had prepared him for the anniversary in a special way. On June 23, he told what has happened:

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Ivan addressing Italian pilgrims on June 23, along with interpreter Krizan Brekalo (right)

“I remembered what Ivan had told us the evening before after the apparition in his chapel. He told us that during the apparition he and Our Lady had a private conversation in which they talked about the first days of the apparitions together. They were remembering things together, very much like a mother might remember things with her children, so that they will not forget those things and keep them firmly planted in their minds. This is how Our Lady prepares Ivan for the anniversary” Cathy Nolan tells from Medjugorje.

On June 24, Ivan received this message as he had his apparition:

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Ivan during his apparition on June 24. Photo: MaryTV

“Dear children! Today in great joy I desire to call you once again to live my messages. Dear children! I came to tell you God exists. I want to lead you to Him. Pray, dear children that your way may become the way of Jesus. Thank you, my dear children, for responding to my call.”

“Ivan told us this was a very special evening for him. He had anticipated this apparition with great joy” Cathy Nolan tells.

Anniversary celebrations officially started with the 21st annual Peace March from the Monastery of St. Anthony in Humac to St. James Church in Medjugorje. The march began at 6 am.

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Participants in the annual Peace March arrive in Medjugorje from Humac 10 miles away. The tradition of the march goes back to 1992 when Bosnia and Hercegovina was at civil war. Photo: medjugorje.hr

“Thousands of pilgrims from around the world walked for three and half hours, prayed and sang in honor of the Queen of Peace, and carried the Cross at the head of the column all the way. Pilgrim groups wore many pictures and statues of Our Lady, the flags of their countries and cities” the Croatian newspaper Vecernji List reports.

Before setting out on the 10 miles walk from Humac, the pilgrims were greeted by Fr. Velimir Mandic, guardian of the monastary.

“Each of our journeys of this kind is only a reminder of our journey to eternity” he said.

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