On 24 June 1981 two teenagers, Mirjana then aged 16 and Ivanka, aged 14, were walking near their nondescript village of Medjugorje in what we now know as Bosnia & Hercegovina, when Ivanka told her friend she could see an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Unsurprisingly, Mirjana remarked that it was impossible and they went on their way. But the following day they were motivated to return, this time with an entourage comprising Vicka 16, Ivan 16, Marija 16 and Jakov 10. The three-dimensional apparition reappeared and this time they had a conversation with the Virgin. They continue to have apparitions to this day, almost 36 years since they first began. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Over five hundred books have been written about the phenomenon of Medjugorje and countless websites, YouTube videos, documentaries and even films have covered it. Now a book has been published by the visionary Mirjana, assisted by film maker and author Sean Bloomfield and local guide and interpreter Miki Musa. My Heart Will Triumph echoes the words of the Virgin Mary in one of her numerous messages to the world via the visionaries. Despite the joint authorship, the book is really an autobiography of Mirjana Soldo.
Even non-believers will find this book fascinating. It is not only a remarkable story covering the metamorphosis of a very ordinary village of a few hundred to a pilgrimage site which has been host to anything from thirty to fifty million visitors. It’s also the story of a very ordinary teenager from a simple village in the middle of nowhere who, along with five others, has, for over three decades been having regular chats with the Virgin Mary.
Mirjana’s story covers not only her spirituality and her meetings with the Virgin, but her childhood, schooling and early years in a what was then a Communist country, her (and the other visionaries’) persecution by the Communist authorities and those who did not believe them, her experiences during the Bosnian war, her marriage, the loss of a child, her family and much more. She was, and remains, a very ordinary person with an extraordinary story to tell. What comes through her writing is a kind, considerate and loving person who has suffered greatly for simply telling the truth.
Read the book. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry but mostly it will warm your heart. And once you’ve finished it, what you will have difficulty believing is how the phenomenon of Medjugorje could be anything other than what Mirjana says it is.