At the end of August 2010, I posted I was creating a new blog called "Medjugorje in Context." I was determined to look into the Medjugorje controversy and apparitions and try and determine what truth, if any was out there. I did create the blog, I created a feeder blog and a website. I had to create all of these things because this was never a topic just about this event (or series of events) this was a topic about the entire history of Marian apparitions. You'll note I abandoned the whole thing mid-stream. Not usually my style.
You see, you cannot separate Medjugorje from Fatima/Akita/Lourdes/Guadaloupe. You can't because the critics don't. Foley et al go on and on about how it "can't" be Mary because she is so humble she: wouldn't wear that dress/talk about herself instead of Jesus/stay so quiet so long/talk so much/stay long at all/pick these people in this place. I found Donal Foley to be woefully misinformed at best and deceptive at worst.
I educated myself by not just looking at every bit of everything I could find about the apparations, the history, the... well... all of it. But I educated myself on the history of Marian apparitions generally which is a huge unwieldly topic. To get oriented, I sat down at the Miracle Hunter site and read through every single approved apparition. That's 60 apparitions. Some quite complex.
By the end, I never wanted to say another Rosary as long as I lived.
Briefly, re: Medjugorje, Foley and the late Michael Davies completely misrepresent when it comes to what Mary will or won't do and how modest she is and how she never claims any glory for herself. I don't know, maybe they were just in denial because of their own heroine worship of her. I'm not criticizing Mary, but she said clearly at Fatima when asked for cures "Some I will cure, others I will not." She didn't say a thing about Jesus or the Father curing anyone. She said she would make the miracles, she said she would take two of the seers to Heaven.
In other apparitions she wanted a church built to "my glory." She often talks about "granting my favors."
She appears in all sorts of attire, often with a crown and opulently dressed. In many apparitions, she neither mentions Jesus or appears with a Babe in arms. In one she just seemed to hang out with a visionary for a few weeks before she got down to business, yet sometimes she gets right to the point. She appears briefly or for years over time. There's not one of the criticisms of the Medjugorje Mary that is not seen in an even cursory examination of Mary in other apparitions through history.
No Miracles, No Witnesses, No supporting Evidence and NO Investigation....
The Medjugorje seers were put under microscopes. They were taped and tricked and analyzed and critiqued in completely invasive ways and every small thing was run through someone's "vision grinder" to see if it came out Marian kosher. Nothing like this was ever done anywhere else. At LaSalette, Melanie writes out the prophecy, then comes back the next day to rewrite because she says she got the order of events mixed up. Omigosh! Imagine what Foley would make of that if Vicka did it!
A lot of these sites were never investigated at all, had their shrines built by the people with no authority from anyone, and were recognized as authentic years and years later by a Bishop based mostly on the "fruits" seen in those who believed. Faith moves mountains, folks. Was Mary there? Or just a lot of people with great faith inspired by reported events?
Now, we can insist all we want that we are not "worshipping" Mary. But you can't tell the difference in many many cases. So we might as well stop denying that for many Catholics Mary has become a goddess, though they, themselves, would be horrified at the "paganism" of the statement and equally are the ones who want Mary declared "co-Redemptorist." And it seems, from what some apparitions say, she is fine with that. The whole thing began to feel cloying and diabolical. That Medjugorje picture I posted above is, to me, a good representation of the issue with many devotees perceptions: Giant vapid Mary hovers over all, Jesus is but a distorted shadow outside the church.
These apparitions certainly seem to inspire conversion and prayer and faith and all sorts of good things. It's just ... Jesus got lost in the stampede of devotions. In the end, especially after finding out that Marian devotions of this kind were almost entirely absent in the first 1000 years of Church history, I just couldn't stomach any more of anyone from any side. Including the various representations of Mary and her statements. I no longer had any idea who I was praying to for intercession.
Jesus Christ is my Lord and my God. Oh my God, Holy Trinity Whom I adore....
Did anything happen at Medjugorje of a supernatural nature? From my research, I say "yes." For how long and what exactly and when/if did it stop for whom? I have no idea. What I came to believe is that some of the many apparitions over the years, possibly some of the best-known, are diabolical. Others strike me as genuine. I will leave you with two modern "approved" apparitions that are examples from each group:
Our Lady of the Rosary: 1983-1990
The link to the messages from this page doesn't seem to be working, but here is the gist:
Sept 25thOur Lady of Akita 1973-1981
Gladys asked the Virgin what she wanted. Gladys:"I saw her and I asked her what she wanted of me. Then her image faded away and a chapel appeared. I understood that she wanted to be among us."Nov. 19th - 27th
Gladys is informed of her mission : "You will become the bridge of union. Proclaim my words."
A shaft of light in the darkness shows Gladys where the Church should be built - on a wasteland called Campito on the banks of the Parana river. The ray of light is seen by other witnesses, a nine-year old girl.
Gladys recognizes the apparition when she sees an image of the Lady of Rosary relegated to the belfry of the diocesan cathedral because of damage. The Virgin referred to Exodus 25:8 in describing the church to be built. The passage says,"They shall make a sanctuary for me, that I may dwell in their midst." The significance of the passage is that it contains the instructions given by God to the Israelites for builiding the Ark of the Covenant by means of which Yahweh would be present to them. The New Testament and the earlyChurch has consistently understood Mary to be the New Ark of the Covenant, who was the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit and the Bearer of the Son. At San Nicolas, the Virgin was restating this teaching.
JULY 6, 1973
Her Guardian Angel:
"Be not afraid. Pray with fervor not only because of your sins, but in reparation for those of all people. The world today wounds the most Sacred Heart of Our Lord by its ingratitudes an injuries. The wounds of Mary are much deeper and more sorrowful than yours. Let us go to pray together in the chapel."
The Virgin Mary:
"My daughter, my novice, you have obeyed me well in abandoning all to follow me. Is the infirmity of your ears painful? Your deafness will be healed, be sure. Does the wound of your hand cause you to suffer? Pray in reparation for the sins of men. Each person in this community is my irreplaceable daughter. Do you say well the prayer of the Handmaids of the Eucharist? Then, let us pray it together."
"Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, truly present in Holy Eucharist, I consecrate my body and soul to be entirely one with Your Heart, being sacrificed at every instant on all the altars of the world and giving praise to the Father pleading for the coming of His Kingdom."
"Please receive this humble offering of myself. Use me as You will for the glory of the Father and the salvation of souls."
"Most holy Mother of God, never let me be separated from Your Divine Son. Please defend and protect me as Your Special Child. Amen."
"Pray very much for the Pope, Bishops, and Priests. Since your Baptism you have always prayed faithfully for them. Continue to pray very much...very much. Tell your superior all that passed today and obey him in everything that he wil tell you. He has asked that you pray with fervor."
A very complete corpus of messages here.
In the end, this is what I know for sure:
Peace of Christ be with you all.
O come, O come, Emmanuel