Signs and Warnings
Like Fatima, the phenomenon of Medjugorje comes complete with prophesized signs and warnings. However, signs and warnings are not the crux of Medjugorje: conversion is. By the time these signs and warnings occur, it may be too late for that.
By placing too much emphasis on signs and warnings, the overall point of the apparitions can get neglected. Consider the people of Jesus’ time who grew impatient waiting for their Savior’s “imminent” second coming. In a similar fashion, many people who were “converted” through Medjugorje due to messages of future chastisements and supernatural phenomena have become lukewarm believers over time, returning to old habits and lifestyles. In short, conversion that is fear-based instead of love-based, or one that is motivated primarily by sensationalism, is at best difficult to sustain.
However, as the story would be incomplete without it, the following summarizes the prophesized events as these apparitions draw to a close.
Our Lady promised to confide 10 secrets regarding future events to each of the seers. As of this writing, three of the visionaries have received all ten secrets, and see the Virgin once a year. The remaining three visionaries have been given nine secrets each and continue to receive daily visitations.
Some of the secrets have to do with Medjugorje itself, while others seem to foretell of serious chastisements for the world. None of the visionaries are permitted to speak specifically about any of them.
“This century is under the power of the devil, but when the secrets confided to you come to pass, his power will be destroyed. Even now he is beginning to lose his power and has become aggressive. He is destroying marriages, creating division among priests and is responsible for obsessions and murder. You must protect yourselves against these things through fasting and prayers, especially community prayer.” (1982)
In addition to the ten secrets, there will also be three public warnings to the world, a final call to conversion and a definitive sign of the authenticity of the messages. One of the visionaries, Mirjana Dragicevic, was told by the Virgin to select a priest in which to entrust these warnings. Mirjana selected Father Petar Ljubicic. At the appropriate time, Mirjana is to give Father Petar a piece of parchment she received from the Lady herself. The writing on this parchment is not decipherable presently.
When Father Petar receives the parchment, he will be able to read the first warning. He is to fast for seven days, and then announce the warning to the world. Three days later, it will occur as prophesized. According to the schedule of Heaven, the next two warnings will be delivered in much the same way.
Following the warnings, the Virgin will leave a permanent and beautiful sign on Apparition Hill, at the place where she first appeared to the children in Medjugorje. The sign will be unchangeable and undeniable. However, at that point, it seems conversion will be too late.
“Be converted! It will be too late when the sign comes. Beforehand, several warnings will be given to the world. Hurry to be converted. I need your prayers and your penance.” (5/25/83)
A Time of Grace
This is, as the Virgin says, a time of grace and blessings, a gift from God. It is His words we are hearing, spoken through His mother. The earth is being renewed in holiness by these apparitions. The time for conversion, for prayer and an increase in holiness is now, not in the future. We must hear the messages and transform them into life today.
“Dear Children! God gives me this time as a gift to you, so that I may instruct and lead you on the path of salvation. You do not comprehend this grace, but soon a time will come when you will lament for these messages.” (8/25/97)
The visionaries assure us: the Queen of Peace wants each of us to be happy on earth and, eventually, with her in Heaven. She offers her wayward children the gentlest and most loving of invitations, so we will not be driven away. Painstakingly, she beckons, for an incredible period of more than twenty years. Will the world and respond to her divine plan for peace? Only Heaven knows.
“Dear children, when God calls men, it is really a great thing. Think about how it would be sad to let pass those opportunities that God allows without taking them. So do not wait for tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow. Say ‘yes’ to Jesus now! And may this ‘yes!’ be forever.” (5/16/87)
Elizabeth Ficocelli is a Catholic author of fifteen books for adults and young people, a national speaker, and host of the radio program, “Answering the Call.” For more information, please visit www.elizabethficocelli.com
Published in Catholic Planet eMagazine, Posted January 2003