by Krzysztof Maniocha

Peace, peace, peace and only peace! Peace must reign between God and man and between people.

This is the primary call of the Virgin Mary revealing herself for the last thirty three years to six chosen people from Medjugorje. While the Queen of Peace calls for fasting every Wednesday and Friday, new restaurants, bars, coffee shops and hotels have been springing up for the last four decades in this village of the apparition. You can pay in local currency, you can pay in euro. All of it is made for your comfort, dear consumer! Plastic Virgin Marys, thermometers, pillows, bags, pictures, devotional articles, and all sorts of gadgets with the image of the Blessed Virgin make attractive souvenirs for tourists with varying tastes as well as giving fuel to potential critics. But this is not the point. Religion in every culture has always been a market for buyers and sellers, whether these were physical objects or ideological interpretations. How much real faith, love, and permanent conversion that is present there, is the knowledge reserved for God only.

The essence of pilgrimages to Medjugorje are revelations and messages transferred to the world by six visionaries. Do these visionaries lie? Do they pretend? Do they consistently and purposely not blink their eyes for the last thirty three years, while tourists along with scientists flashlights into their pupils? Although the Vatican has not officially confirmed these apparitions (they can not as of yet because these visions are still ongoing) and certain writers even suggest the source being demonic, no other Marian apparitions have been examined so thoroughly as these in Medjugorie. Neither Lourdes nor Fatima, for instance, have undergone such scrutiny. Within several years, national committees composed of scientists, doctors and theologians have put the visionaries through various examinations. They tested their sensitivity and reactions on different impulses. Analysis with the use of electro-encephalograms have been carried out. During ecstasy lights were flashed in the visionaries’ eyes and their ears were treated with loud sounds. With the aid of polygraph scientists have examined whether visionaries speak the truth.

Investigators found out that the apparitions are not sleep or dream hallucinations, not auditory or visual hallucinations or paroxysms. This is not hysteria, neurosis, it can not be deemed as pathological ecstasy or catalepsy. The study excluded meditation and charismatic experience. It was however found, that the pain threshold of visionaries increases to 700 %. Studies have shown that their pupils grow (without any change in the external light) at the moment of ecstasy, which means that there is a presence of someone that would only be seen by those six chosen (all of these findings are recorded by Rene Laurentin and Henri Joyeux in ‘Scientific & Medical Studies On The Apparitions At Medjugorje ‘).

Every year Medjugorie is visited by hundreds of thousands of people. Testimonies of those who were healed could easily form a thick book. But still a contemporary man, who for a long time had confused happiness with a sense of satisfaction gets a call from Mary the mother of Jesus:

‘Dear children! Today I want to wrap you all in my mantle and lead

you along the way of conversion. Dear children, I beseech you, surrender

to the Lord your entire past, all the evil that has accumulated in your hearts.

I want each one of you to be happy, but in sin nobody can be happy…’

(message 02.25.1987).