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The Blessed Virgin has allegedly been appearing every evening to a number of teenagers (now in their late 20s!) in a village in Bosnia for almost 16 years.

The Church has not yet pronounced whether the apparitions are definitely from God or not. Many investigations are ongoing, the special difficulty being that the apparitions allegedly continue.

An official Vatican investigation reached the unprecedented decision of not being able to conclude that anything supernatural was happening there, nor being able to conclude that anything supernatural was not happening there!

The message Our Lady has come to bring is not different in substance from the messages she has brought previously, convert, do penance, pray the Rosary daily!

However, the message is becoming more intense. Our Lady requests that we pray all 15 decades of the Rosary every day, not just the customary five. She asks us to fast on bread and water alone on Fridays (and also Wednesday if possible) rather than merely asking for special penances on those days.

There have certainly been hundreds of thousands of conversions because of this apparition, if not millions. Millions have visited the shrine, particularly since the fall of Iron Curtain. The Pope himself is thought to be sympathetic to the apparitions. And all who visit comment on the fidelity and holiness that abound in this little village.

However, we must also await the judgment of the Church and always beware of the Evil One presenting himself as an Angel of Light by offering something good to us that is still a lesser good than the one God is calling us towards. We cannot pre-empt the judgment of the Church.

Briefly, the history of the apparitions is as follows:

On 24 June 1981, in the mountain parish of Medjugorje, in what was then Yugoslavia, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to six young people. Next day, She appeared again to four of those six, together with two others. Those six (four girls and two boys) of the second day became the definite visionaries -- their christian names being Ivanka, Mirjana, Vicka, Ivan, Marija and Jakov. On the second day, Our Lady spoke, and ever since, She has been (with a few exceptions in the early days) appearing daily to all, or some of the six. The apparitions have taken place at various sites, and occasionally to individual visionaries while travelling outside Bosnia. Secrets have been given to each, and there have been countless messages. Our Lady has identified herself in Medjugorje as the Blessed Virgin, Queen of Peace, and her central message is peace - peace with God and man.

She has told the young people: "I have come to tell the world that God exists. He is the fullness of life, and to enjoy this fullness and obtain peace, you must return to God." In bringing the world back to her Son, Mary has been sent by the Father to help in various ways to make Medjugorje a model parish.

During the apparitions, the visionaries do not react to light, they do not hear any earthly sound, they do not react to being touched. They have been subjected to many scientific tests even during the apparitions, and the findings are well documented. While with Our Lady they feel they are outside time and space.

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