Friday, April 28, 2017


[The following testimony, or articles relating to Silvia Busi appears on many websites. This one has been extracted from an article by Jakob Marschner on It has only been slightly edited by me]:

All the medical tests were negative when Silvia Busi fell very ill at 16. Within days, the normal Italian girl found herself in a wheelchair, unable to move her legs. Nine months later Silvia’s illness disappeared as suddenly as it had come about, during an apparition to Medjugorje visionary Ivan Dragicevic. “The gift of faith is the biggest one I got,” she says.

Instantly ill and crippled for months, then just as instantly cured. Life took place in drastic turns when Silvia was 16 and 17.

For nine months from October 2004 the student from Padua, Italy was a paraplegic confined to her wheelchair, unable to walk or move her legs. Silvia’s time as an invalid ended in June 2005 on top of Apparition Hill in Medjugorje when she stood up and walked after an apparition to visionary Ivan Dragicevic.

“Until the beginning of October 2004,” Silvia testified during a recent prayer meeting in Italy, “I was a normal girl going to school, having friends, dancing and swimming. Suddenly, within a few days, all that was blocked, though all the medical tests were negative.

“When I found myself in a wheelchair, my family and I lived through hard and painful moments. In the following months I began losing weight and my seizures got worse, limiting my life even more, and leading me to an emotional breakdown.”

Early on, Silvia’s mother turned to faith as the solution to her daughter’s condition. The home was Catholic but Silvia says she attended Sunday Mass only out of habit:

“My mother was our strength,” Silvia said. “Finding no answers with doctors, she turned to a priest who was very devoted to a Marian group. So we started to follow the group every Friday, along with praying the Rosary, going to Mass and Eucharistic Adoration. I followed my parents, though, only because I could not stay at home alone.

“In May, the month dedicated to the Madonna, my mother decided to attend the group every day and not only on Friday, and at least pray the Rosary and go to Mass. At first it was not easy for me but after a few weeks, I began to feel the need to go there because only there could I feel a little peace. Not being able to do the same things as my peers, in that place I felt the weight less.”

Silvia’s decision to go to Medjugorje was as sudden as her illness and her later cure:

“On June 20,” Silvia told the attendees at the prayer meeting, “my physical therapist told me that next week she would accompany her mother to Medjugorje. I asked if I could go with them, and after three days I found myself on the bus to Medjugorje with my father. We arrived in the morning of June 24, the Feast of Saint John the Baptist, but also the anniversary of the first apparition.”

When Silvia heard that visionary Ivan was to have a public apparition in the evening, she immediately decided to go there, though she thought it would be impossible to bring her wheelchair to the top of Apparition Hill. Instead, she was carried to the hilltop where she arrived at 8:00 pm, two hours before the apparition.

“That is my earliest memory of prayer really done with the heart. Those two hours flew away. Sitting next to me, my group leader told me to address the Madonna because shortly thereafter she would come down from Heaven to listen to all of us. Then I asked Her for the strength to serenely accept and face a life in a wheelchair because I was seventeen, and the future terrified me so.

“During Ivan’s apparition,” Silvia testified, “I saw a light to my left: white, beautiful, very vocal and loud but I could look at it because I did not get blinded. When I saw it, I was afraid and I lowered my eyes not to look at it but it was also good and I could not help but watch it. Thus, throughout the apparition, I always looked at this light through the corner of my eye.”

After the apparition, Silvia’s carriers lost her, and she fell on the hard hillside stones. But Silvia did not feel the rocks, she said. Instead her healing took place:

“I remember it as if I was being on a soft mattress and not on those hard and sharp rocks. I also remember a very sweet voice which spoke to me and calmed me. After a few minutes, I opened my eyes and my father was crying. But for the first time in nine months, I could feel my legs; I felt I leaned on something. Then I told my father ‘I am cured; I can walk!’

“There was a hand stretched out in front of me. I grabbed it and I found myself on my feet as if it were the most natural thing. I burst into tears because this was something bigger than me. I could never have imagined this. Then I started to walk. My legs were very thin but I was sure I would never fall because I felt some invisible strings that held me from behind, and I was sure that I would not fall and get hurt.”

The next morning, at about five o’clock, Silvia climbed Cross Mountain to pray the Way of the Cross along with her group. When she returned from Medjugorje, only the seizures were left of her illness. For them to disappear took another Medjugorje involvement:

“I continued to have seizures,” Silvia said, “but thanks be to God they went over. At first I was very shy and did not witness, and then I had many seizures during the day. Then Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic, a priest from Medjugorje, came to Turin for a prayer meeting and he told me to give thanks and praise to God for the gift He gave me.”

She was happy to pray the Rosary and give her testimony, then thought that was it. But it was not:

“Before I went away, Fr Ljubo prayed over me, blessed me and a few days later all the seizures disappeared. After a year I stopped taking medicine and now, thanks be to God, I am fine.”

Though Silvia is now completely healed, she does not consider that the biggest gift she got:

“The greatest grace that God gave me and my family was to rediscover the grace of God, faith and conversion. The road is very long; we just started and then it continues for a lifetime. The difficulties are there and no-one is immune to this but with the power of faith and prayer, you are able to overcome and deal with them.

“With this conversion, it is as if God has lit a fire inside me. But as fire is being fed with wood, so faith must be nourished by prayer. And by the Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, the Rosary, reading the Bible, fasting and Confession at least once a month. With all this, the fire is not quenched, even if a little wind is blowing.

“For me this is really the most important and beautiful in life. I pray with all my heart to every day experience more of the love of God and the Madonna which is immense, and the same for each of us.”

Saturday, April 22, 2017


[The story of Domenico Mascheri appears on numerous Internet sites. The following is an article about him I have taken from I have only slightly edited it]:

An 87-year-old man from Italy, who had been using a hearing device since the 1970s, suddenly started to hear during a Mass at Medjugorje.

Domenico Mascheri says his wife still cannot understand that she does not have to shout anymore. It all happened at an outdoor service on September 27 of this year (2011). During the Mass, he started to hear by himself after 40 years of being totally dependent on hearing devices. When he went to the Mass that evening, it was after two days of total silence, as the batteries in his hearing devices had run out, and he did not have spares. He had climbed Apparition Hill that day with the help of a wooden cane.

Domenico sat on the bench with a small group of pilgrims and about half-way through reciting the Ave Maria — he told reporters back home — he started to hear the pastor’s voice, which slowly became stronger until he could hear everything. He began to cry, and did not even tell his companions.

Later that evening Domenico told everyone in the group what had happened. They spent the rest of the evening partying and praising God for the beauty of the miracle of Domenico. (Source:

Medjugorje is a fountain of spiritual fruits for the world. As of October, 2011 Medjugorje parish archivist Marija Dugandzic has confirmed that 532 healings were medically documented; 520 men became priests as a result of a visit; 123 women became nuns as a result of a visit and 540,000 visits were registered from cardinals, bishops, priests and nuns. (Source:

And it is likely that hundreds, if not thousands of healings, vocations, and visits have gone unreported to the Medjugorje parish. On this Thanksgiving Day, 2011, let us give praise and thanksgiving to God for Medjugorje.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


[Nicolo Pacini’s testimony or articles about his experience appear on various websites and feature in a book by author and theologian René Laurentin’s Ten Years of Apparitions. Nicolo’s case is also mentioned in Miracles of Healing:Inspirational Stories of Amazing Recovery by Brad and Sherry Hansen Steiger.  The following is from with only slight editing by myself]:

Thirteen year old Nicolo Pacini, who lived with his family near Florence, Italy, had been confined  to a wheelchair for five years with muscular dystrophy when his parents decided to take him to visit the site where the Virgin Mary had appeared in a small village, Medjugorje, in December 1991.

In spite of the popularity of Medjugorje as a healing shrine, Nicolo did not want to go; he told his parents that he would rather have them save the money that such a trip would cost. He thought it would be useless to go and that the pilgrimage would only bring all three of them additional heartache and disappointment.

He argued that he was but one of millions of handicapped people in the world, and he would be but one of thousands of pilgrims who would be crowding around the statue of Mother Mary at Medjugorje praying for a healing. Why would the Queen of Heaven choose him before all the others?

But at last, after much discussion and prayer, Nicolo agreed to accompany his parents to the holy place where Mother Mary had appeared wearing a crown of twelve stars.

The bus trip was exhausting, but when the Pacini family arrived at the shrine on December 8th, Nicolo’s mother wasted no time in pushing his wheelchair directly in front of Mary’s life-size statue. Perhaps more to please his parents than to get a miracle, Nicola began to pray.

Then, to his astonishment and his parent’s great joy, he felt his right hand slowly open.

Encouraged by such a marvellous sign of divine energy, Nicolo was eager to return to the shrine the next morning. In his prayers, however, he asked that his healing not be done for his sake alone, but also for that of his parents. Then, Nicolo simply felt like getting up and walking for the first time in five years.

“It was the strangest feeling,” Nicolo said later. It was as if something were moving inside of him, and he had an overwhelming urge to get up and walk. An irresistible force seemed to be lifting him up from the wheelchair.

Although he thought that it was impossible, he found himself standing upright and walking.

After he had taken the first few steps, he called out to his mother and heard her cry of joy, as a miracle had occurred. Mrs Pacini instinctively rushed to her son’s side to help him but Nicolo asked her to leave him alone. He knew that he could walk on his own.

The Pacini family will always remember how the hundreds of pilgrims who were gathered around the shrine burst into applause when Nicolo kept walking.

The boy’s mind was filled with the wonder of it all. Mother Mary had heard his prayers and those of his parents.

When the Pacinis returned to Florence, Dr Rosella Mengonzi, their physician, was shocked when she saw Nicolo standing and walking. Dr Mengonzi had been certain that Nicolo would be forced to spend his life in a wheelchair. After a thorough examination, Dr Mengonzi told journalist Silvio Piersanti that somehow Nicolo Pacini had completely recovered from an incurable disease in a manner that she could not medically explain. A healing miracle had been performed.

Sunday, April 16, 2017


[Testimonies by and articles about an Irish journalist, Heather Parsons appear on numerous websites and she has written books about her experience (one of which, A Light Between The Hills, I have read). The following article, by Michael H Brown appears at It is obviously dated; I would guess it was written in the 1980s. Since the Church’s investigation he alludes to in the fifth from last paragraph, there has been a more high profile one which has been completed but whose findings are yet to be revealed to the world. Meanwhile the Pope has sent an emissary, Polish Archbishop Henryk Hoser, to Medjugorje on his own fact finding mission and to assess the needs of the millions of pilgrims who go there. Michael H Brown’s article has only been slightly edited by me]:

An Irish journalist asserts in a new book, Vicka, Touched by a Mother’s Love, that she encountered extraordinary sights in the skies above the famous apparition site of Medjugorje in Bosnia-Hercegovina.

The journalist, Heather Parsons of Dublin — who at the time was Protestant — says that during her initial visit there in June, 1985, she witnessed what has became known as the “miracles of the sun,” but at a level unusual even by the standards of this reputedly miraculous place.  Others too, witnessed the display which Parsons, a sceptic, never expected. “Lifting my hands to shade my eyes from the bright light of the sun,” she writes in the book, “I followed the direction of their pointing fingers — and for one short, sharp moment doubted the reality of my own sight.  Closing my eyes momentarily, I looked again and saw exactly the same thing. There, in the sky above me, the sun was spinning like a top. As I watched, colours appeared to come streaming from behind it — red, green, yellow, blue — to circle it independently, while all the time the sun continued to spin.

“Then the centre of the sun turned to red and then to black before returning to its usual brightness. Above it, slightly to the right, I suddenly saw what appeared to be white cloud-like letters begin to form. As I watched, the word “Peace” appeared in the sky above the dancing sun — in English, but in what I would have described as Celtic script, just like that in the Book of Kells. Remaining for what seemed like twenty or thirty seconds — although to be honest I was not counting time as I witnessed this extraordinary and unbelievable phenomenon — the word disappeared and the sun continued to spin and dance.”

Native villagers have made similar claims, asserting that a bright, inexplicable inscription appeared in the sky above the holy spot of Mount Krizevac one summer evening in 1981. But in that case the letters had formed a word, “Mir,” in Croatian. “Mir” translates as “peace.”  During the 1990s Americans from the New York area snapped photos from Apparition Hill that later showed the word “Christ” in an otherwise clear sky.

Parsons, who has written in Ireland for national newspapers and magazines, reveals that the entire episode lasted about 35 minutes. At one point, the journalist says that the sun appeared to “break away from the heavens” and come rushing toward the crowd — similar to the “great miracle” reported in 1917 at Fatima.

“All around me, I heard cries of fear mingled with terror-filled prayers, as the sun’s brightness came closer and closer and all I could see was a total golden light,” the journalist, who is now Catholic, continues. “Strangely, I realised, I felt no fear before the descent of the sun stopped and then withdrew back into the sky, where it continued to spin.”

This is not what the entire book is about. It is a book about the experiences of others, including the seer Vicka Ivankovic Mijatovic (who recently bore her first child). It is a story of the Blessed Mother’s message. But the phenomena reported by Parsons were profound and of potential prophetic significance. “As I continued to stare at the sun,” she writes, “I saw what seemed like a fountain of light gush up from it. Just as with a fountain of water, where it reached its highest point this fountain of light separated and there appeared, to my utter astonishment, a bright, shining figure with arms outstretched. So bright and shining that I could never describe the whiteness of the garment, but a figure that I immediately recognised, despite my own lack of religious interest for many years, as the Risen Christ.”

Parsons says that other witnesses seemed to be seeing what looked like a Communion Host in front of the sun — a frequent claim at Medjugorje, where a disc-like shape blots out the harmful centre rays. Parsons reports that she could see the sleeves that hung from the wrists of the figure as the cloth flowed down to meet the hem of the garment where it touched the figure’s feet. “But I could not see the face,” she explains. “Try as I might, I could not make out the features on his face, although I knew it was there, framed by hair that fell to the shoulders.

“Ten times this figure disappeared, to return again almost immediately, always preceded by the fountain of light. At one point I recall holding my hand in front of my face — and continuing to see the figure as if my hand was not there. And then the realisation, as I stood in this place and continued to look up into the sky, that tears were pouring down my face and the only thought in my mind was that I was in the presence of God.”

The Church has not yet ruled on Medjugorje, with an investigation of such phenomena currently in the hands of a national commission composed of the Cardinal in Sarajevo, his auxiliary, and two other bishops. A spokesman for the Cardinal, Father Mato Vovkic, told Spirit Daily that a decision on authenticity will not be rendered until after the apparitions stop. What is the significance of this? Is there a sign for us all in the alleged manifestation of Jesus?

In the coming weeks the Vatican is expected to release guidelines for discerning such claimed apparitions and other phenomena currently sweeping across every habitable continent, and when those strictures come out, we must strictly obey them, as we should obey all that the Pope directs through his congregations. Then we will better discern such reported signs — along with the message.

That message has been peace. It has been love. It has been that the world is only a passing place and we must not allow evil to steal our happiness.

With God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus — with the prayers of His mother — we have all we need to get through even the most challenging times.

This we have known now for 2,000 years. As Parsons says, “I had gone (to Medjugorje) in 1985 as a Protestant journalist. What I expected to find was Marian propaganda. What I actually found was the gospel message.”

Saturday, April 15, 2017


[Articles and testimony of Croatian psychiatrist, Dr Nikola Bartulica appear all over the Internet. The following was extracted from It has only been slightly edited by me]:

Name: Dr Nikola Bartulica, a Croatian psychiatrist, originally from Split, but now lives in the USA.

Place and date of testing:  Medjugorje, October 1981 and 1989.

Test or procedure: Dr Bartulica was among the first to examine the visionaries. In October 1981, he examined Vicka for nearly two hours, all the while she was unaware that he was a psychiatrist. He stated the following about that visit:

“When a psychiatrist hears that a person has visions, he first wonders if that person is mentally healthy. So I asked Vicka what did she see, hear, how did she react. She answered spontaneously, without fear or hesitation, and you could see that this was a determined, completely normal person…in psychiatry, you can quickly determine if a person is sincere.”

In 1989, Dr Bartulica returned to Medjugorje to carry out new psychiatric tests on the visionaries. In Medjugorje, he spoke to Marija, Ivan, Vicka, Mirjana and Ivanka. Only Jakov Colo was absent.  “I examined each of them for half an hour and a pilgrim from California recorded it with a video camera so there is evidence of the event.”  Dr Bartulica presented his conclusions on the Medjugorje phenomenon in the book Are the Visionaries Telling the Truth? published in 1991 in Chicago.


In October, 1981

“I asked Vicka what did she see, hear, how did she react. She answered spontaneously, without fear or hesitation, and you could see that this was a determined, completely normal person.”

In watching Vicka in ecstasy for the first time, four years after his first interview with her, he said:

“She was very expressive. I was watching her moving her lips, nodding…It made me think, if she doesn’t see the Blessed Mother, and is just staring into the wall like the rest of us, and behaves in such a manner then she is making fools of all of us. You have to ask yourself if it is possible that she is deceiving us. The answer is that it might be possible, but if that was the case, all the six seers are capable of this simultaneously for a period of 25 years. That in itself would be a phenomenon. And anyway that cannot be because it has been established scientifically that their ecstasies are authentic. Besides, there is no such case in the history of psychiatry that six children start simultaneously hallucinating at 6:40 pm (every evening)” says the psychiatrist. “It does not take an expert though to tell that the children were normal, sincere, and that their experience was not invented.”

He said that he has met many people in his line of business that were faking their experiences. But in the case of the visionaries of Medjugorje he is completely convinced that they have had the experience they testify to. He has visited Medjugorje more than 20 times and has often attended the apparitions.

Friday, April 14, 2017


[Dr Marco Margnelli is a specialist in ecstasy and altered states of consciousness. He is mentioned on numerous websites as an avowed atheist who went to Medjugorje and, as a result of what he discovered, converted to Roman Catholicism. The following article is just one of the many I have come across. In it, Dr Margnelli relates his own experiences. I have only slightly edited it]:

One impressive testimony comes from an Italian neurophysiologist, Dr Marco Margnelli, a specialist in ecstasy and altered stats of consciousness. He was part of the group of Italian doctors who tested the visionaries in 1985. He was unprepared for how the visionaries’ testimony would impact him personally.

An Atheist Tests the Children

“I am a non-believer and therefore I went to Medjugorje in a critical spirit, ready to welcome any evidence of what would contradict it or show up as a fake. Insofar as I am concerned, that is from my studies on change in states of consciousness in the children, I must say that I have, with my instruments, verified and documented a genuine state of ecstasy.

“Certainly, as far as my opinion goes, there is no lying, and certainly the children enter a different state of consciousness, that which is scientifically called the ‘alfa’ state. If they then really see the Madonna, or if it is a case of suggestion phenomenon inexplicable to us, is a matter for theological competence, on which I cannot express myself.

“Certainly, we were in the presence of an extraordinary phenomenon. Since my return from Yugoslavia, I continually think of it, and I confess that I also ask myself questions which are not scientific, and I question myself on the meaning of all that.

“As a man the events surrounding this phenomenon also surprised me. There is the videotape of a colleague which records our work, in which one can see the absolutely synchronous movement with which the children act, their looks which all together follow the apparition; there are films taken by people I know and who appear to be honest, of the cross which dominates the hill nearby, which disappears; there is the absolute silence of the birds which gather before sunset in the square and they go silent, all together, suddenly as soon as the apparition begins.

“A lady living in Milan, and who seems to me to be a very responsible person told me a curious fact. Gravely ill with leukaemia, she had gone to Medjugorje, wishing to be embraced by the Madonna; at the end of the ecstasy, one of the children ran to embrace her, among hundreds of people present, saying to her: ‘That’s the embrace you wished from the Madonna.' She is now healed of her illness. Another doctor from the Mangiagalli of Milan, Luigi Frigerio, to whom we were indebted for the organisation of our journey, tells that he was singled out in the same way by one of the visionaries who asked in a loud voice, in Croatian: ‘Where is the doctor from the Mangiagalli in Milan? The Madonna asked me to tell him that she is pleased with the work he is doing.’

“If anyone had told me these things before my journey there, I would have laughed at it. We are certainly in the presence of an extremely interesting phenomenon. Whether we are dealing with an authentic apparition or something else that we cannot explain, I cannot say; it is a question I prefer not to put to myself.”

As Dr Margnelli confessed, he continually thought of all the things, asking questions that were not scientific, but pondering the meaning of what was happening in Medjugorje. His ponderings led him out of his unbelief. He is now a practising Catholic.

Sunday, April 9, 2017


[Although not devoid of controversy, Professor Henri Joyeux of the Cancer Institute of Montpellier, France has reported on the phenomenon of Medjugorje. The text of a full interview with him appears at The following is a report which has appended to it a question (with the professor’s answer) from the French publication Paris Match. Editing by me has been limited]:

The phenomena of the apparitions at Medjugorje cannot be explained scientifically. According to experiments carefully conducted, we can affirm that there has been no pathological modification in the parameters which have been investigated. In one word, these young people are healthy and there is no sign of epilepsy nor is it a sleep or dream state. It is neither a case of pathological hallucination nor hallucination in the hearing or sight faculties connected with an abnormality in the functioning of the peripherical sensorial receivers, the hearing faculty or sight. Neither are there any paroxystical hallucinations as testified by the electro-encephalogram nor delirious hallucinations nor acute mental confusion. It is neither hysterical nor a nervous disorder nor a pathological ecstasy because the visionaries show no signs of these conditions in any of the clinical examinations. It cannot be a cataleptic state, for during the ecstasy the facial muscles are operating in a normal way. We can also ascertain that the intentness of the movements of the orbs of the eyes of all the visionaries is in perfect timing with each other at the beginning and the end of the ecstasy. During the ecstasy there is a perfect convergence of their eyes and there is a strong feeling of a face to face encounter between the visionaries and a person we cannot see.

Their behaviours presents no pathological signs. During the ecstasy they are in a state of prayer and inter-personal communication. They are not drop-outs, dreamers or people who are tired or distressed. They appear to be free and happy, well-rooted in their country and the modern world. At Medjugorje, the ecstasies are not pathological or a trick. They do not belong to any scientific denominations. It is more like a state of deep, active prayer, in which they are partially disconnected from the physical world, in a state of contemplation and sane encounter with a person whom they alone see, hear and can touch. We cannot reach the transmitter but we can ascertain that the receivers are in a state of sane and good working order.

Paris Match: 

So you really believe that the Virgin Mary is appearing to them?

Prof. Joyeux:

As scientists we can reach no conclusion in such a matter. This can be answered only by competent people such as the local bishop and the theological commission which is advising him. In Lourdes the Catholic Church did recognise the eighteen apparitions of the Virgin Mary to Bernadette. At Medjugorje, if the Virgin Mary is appearing, she will have appeared more than 1500 times…(in June 1986 it will be over 1800); it would not surprise me if one day the Church does recognise these apparitions.

Saturday, April 8, 2017


[The following is a lengthy, incredibly detailed report by James Paul Pandarakalam, British psychiatrist which I believe was prepared in 2001. I have extracted it from It has only been slightly edited by me]:

Are the Apparitions of Medjugorje Real?

Department of Psychiatry
Soho House 362 Soho Road
Birmingham B21 9QL
6 Fountain Lane
Kent ME169AR

Abstract — This article presents the history of six young healthy adults experiencing an apparition on a daily basis over a prolonged period. The medical tests suggest that there is objective and subjective or nonobjective visionary experience. There is partial and variable disconnection from the outside world at the time of apparitional experience, and sensations travel in a normal manner to the brain of the Medjugorje seers, but the findings of evoked auditory potential tests and screening tests show that the cerebral cortex does not perceive the transmission of the auditory and visual neuronal stimuli received from the immediate environment. Electro-oculographic recording confirms that their eyes are converging at the same point. There are both normal and altered physiological parameters. There is a cluster of synchronisms  suggesting objectivity. Complementary psychological and parapsychological observations are presented. There is no evidence to suggest the probability of autohypnosis. The collective percipience, stronger motivation on the part of the apparition, quasi-physical features of the apparition, integration of the apprearer to the natural environment, utmost loyalty and obedience of the percipients to the agent, and controlled ‘psychokinetic-like’ manifestations point toward a true apparition at Medjugorje. The voice phenomenon observed at the time of the Medjugorje apparitional experience is reported in other sites of Marian apparition and not in any other religious or paranormal phenomenon.


Reportedly, Our Lady first appeared in Medjugorje, a small village in the heart of the western region of the former Yugoslavia (Bosnia and Hercegovina) on June 24, 1981. It is a collective vision, involving six visionaries: Ivan, Ivanka, Jakov, Marija, Mirjana and Vicka. That afternoon, Ivanka and Mirjana had gone for a walk and on their way home they saw a figure bathed in light, floating above the ground, which identified Herself as the Queen of Peace. The apparition lasted approximately 30 minutes. From that day, Mary has been appearing to the seers, giving them messages for the whole world. The visions are said to continue until the visionaries are given 10 special messages each; Mirjana, Ivanka, and Jakov have already received 10 special messages and no longer have daily apparitions. During the last 18 years many authors have contributed to the Medjugorje literature (Connell, 1990; Craig, 1988; Kraljevic, 1984; Laurentin, 1987a, 1987b; Manuel, 1992; O’Carroll, 1986; Parsons, 1989; Pervan, 1985; Roberts, 1992; Rooney, 1984; Rupcic, 1991; Sivric, 1986).

Daily apparitions at Medjugorje usually take place in the late evening. At the time of the apparition, visionaries used to gather in a particular place. They sat down on little stools along with a priest and other witnesses. An anxious expression of expectancy is obvious on their faces. They recite the Rosary in a very thoughtful manner. Suddenly the young people stand and line up facing one of the walls. All of them gaze upward at the same time, without ever looking at each other. There is no verbal or nonverbal communication between the visionaries. They appear to stare intently at something outside the room and beyond the reading distance. They keep their hands joined together in prayer and some of them move their lips. At a certain point, all of them withdraw collectively from the place they were standing. Their faces become more relaxed. Then they go toward a table and write down quickly in a notebook the messages, which were given to them during the vision. Afterward, they leave the room each going about his or her own business. Nowadays, they assemble together only on special occasions but have private apparitions at their own homes.

According to the percipients, the apparition stands out in an objective space and is three-dimensional. All the visionaries see the apparition alike. She appears no more than 19 years of age. She appears real and solid. The apparition is just as clear and vivid in matters of detail such as colour and texture of skin and clothing as a material person. She has dark hair and blue eyes. She wears a grey dress with a white veil down to her feet and a crown of 12 stars. The apparition was viewed at different distances. The brightness of the figure is irrespective of light; it does not fade in dark light and does not become brighter if there is more light. The apparition obscures the background, and during the apparitional occurrences, everything in front of the visionaries disappears.

Medical Observations

A few medical scientists before the detailed tests of the French and Italian medical teams conducted individual tests on the visionaries. Dr Stopar Ludvick, a neuropsychiatrist from Belgrade who is the founder of Theistic para-psychology, studied Medjugorje events, staying there incognito for several weeks. He only directed me to visit Medjugorje in December 1985 and I have visited this place more than twenty times. Professor Joyeux from Montpelier and his team conducted various medical tests from March 24, 1984 to December 30, 1984, as per the desire of the French Marian theologist René Laurentin (Laurentin & Joyeux, 1987). They studied all visionaries except Mirjana, whose apparitional experiences had ceased in 1982. They have reported both normal and altered physiological parameters.

During the apparitional experience, the EEG recordings of Marija and Ivan show the presence of beta rhythm to begin with, which is replaced by alpha waves, the rhythm of relaxation and mediation. The ocular and visual functions of the seers within the scope of the apparitional experience were studied by Dr Jacques Philipott, an ophthalmologist from Montpelier, with a series of tests conducted several times before, during, and after the apparition. Dr Philipott found that before, during and after the apparitional experience Ivan, Marija and Ivanka’s direct and conscious photomotor reflexes were normal and symmetric. The corneal reflex, although present before and after the event, was absent during the apparitional experience, when shining a blinding light did not cause their eyes to blink. Dr Philipott’s tests demonstrated that Ivanka and Marija’s eyelid movements during the apparitional experience were two times slower than before and after. In fact, Ivanka blinked 10 times during the vision, against her normal 22, and Marija 7 times instead of 12. A decidedly less frequent rate than normal state. To determine whether a material object could obstruct the see’s visual perception, the medical team placed a sheet of opaque cardboard before their eyes. Ivanka and Marija’s celestial vision was in no way interrupted by the intrusion.

Ivan and Marija were subjected to an important test to study their eye movements using electro-oculogram readings. The seers reacted to the vision simultaneously to within 0.1 to 0.4 seconds; their eye movements ceased simultaneously, almost to the second, as the apparitional experience commenced. The only evident muscular movements during the vision were those related to gesticulation and conversing with the apparition; their eyes were motionless. After the apparition, however, eye and muscular movements resumed at exactly the same time. Electro-oculographic recording demonstrated that their eyes converged at the same point. Papillary contraction was found to be normal and unchanged before, during and after the apparition. During the apparitional experience, blinking reflex was absent but was normal before and after. Dott Santini, the Italian investigator, used an estesiometer to confirm the absence of corneal reflex; the hundred-watt bulb used during his tests failed to make the seers blink.

Dr F Rouquerol, whose report concluded that the auditory pathways included normal conductivity before the apparitional experience, monitored Ivan’s hearing. Records show that conductivity remained normal during the apparition; yet, when a 90 decibel sound was introduced into Ivan’s right ear, after the apparitional occurrence Ivan declared to have heard nothing. Prior to the apparitional episode, he was startled when 70 decibels were applied.

The medical team with an impedanceometer carefully studied the visionaries’ uncommon voice activity, distinguished by unmistakable axiomatic articulation without phonation. Their tests revealed a number of exciting findings. The instrument’s needle showed extensive movements of larynx muscles while the seers recited the Rosary before the apparitions, but as soon as the apparitional episode began and the voices became inaudible, the larynx stopped moving and the needle was still; during the conversation with the apparition, the seers’ lips moved without phonation. As the voices returned, in the middle of the apparition, to recite the Our Father, which, according to the visionaries, had been started by the  Virgin, the needle moved again. Articulation without phonation occurred once more during the final phase of the apparitional experience, as the visionaries voices were replaced by silence, although their lips were moving. As the seers began to speak at the end of the apparition, the movements of the larynx resumed, showing that the vocal extinction experienced at the beginning of the apparitional experience is linked to the absence of movement of the larynx, and although the lips were moving quite normally, the act of exhaling did not vibrate the vocal cords.

The findings of the French team were confirmed in September 1985 by a series of important tests performed by Italian doctors. The sensitivity of the visionaries to pain was tested with an algometer, and while prior to the apparitions their reaction to pain was normal (between 0.3 to 0.4 seconds), during the apparition they did not perceive any pain.

The medical teams conclude that there is partial and variable disconnection from the outside world at the time of the apparitional experience. Sensations travel in a normal manner to the brain of the Medjugorje seers, but the findings of evoked auditory potential tests and screening tests show that the cerebral cortex does not perceive the transmission of the auditory and visual neuronal stimuli received from the surrounding environment. This indicates a disconnection located somewhere in the cortex, and it can be thought of as functional dualism, comparable to a motorcar being functionally divided into two by pressing the clutch.

Dual Modes of Perception

Medical tests with Medjugorje visionaries at the time of the apparitional occurrence point toward an objective and subjective or nonobjective visionary experience. As pointed out by René Laurentin, there are two pieces of evidence supporting subjective vision. The screening test does not impair the vision; therefore, the normal visual pathways are not used, and the evoked auditory potential tests proves that during the apparitional experience the auditory pathways remain normal but are not used. René Laurentin presents three pieces of evidence indicating objectivity: the convergence of their gaze as confirmed by video recording made face-on to the visionaries during apparitional experiences is an obvious feature observed by all the witnesses. The simultaneity of the cessation of eyeball movements as established by electro-oculography is another evidence indicating objectivity. The simultaneous raising of their eyes and hands as the apparition disappears upwards is the third one. René Laurentin, who led the medical teams, concludes if the vision is objective, and the above points would seem to indicate that these modalities of the vision are not those of ordinary perception, itself objective, but not measurable by our tests.

The above medical observation can further be clarified by the ESP-PK theory of apparition (Rull & Beloft, 1980). According to this theory, the psychokinetic powers of the appearer and the ESP powers of the seer result in the actual sighting of the apparition, who is present at the physical site. The ESP powers of the seer and the psychokinetic abilities of the appearer are involved in the apparitional experience of the percipient. The appearer is capable of psychically interacting with the physical reality, resulting in his images perceived by the seer through normal sensory channel. At the same time, the ESP powers of the percipient are activated and the self-image of the appearer, in turn, is perceivable through ESP. Thus, there are dual modes of perception. There is both objective and subjective perception.  There is a mutual involvement in the apparitional perception without any mental contribution from the percipient. There is paranormal perception as well as physical perception.

To use an analogy from the physical world of sensory experiences, we are able to see an object because of light reflecting on the object and also because of the sensory ability of vision. In case of the objective vision of the apparition, the reflecting on the object is analogous to the psychokinetic powers of the apparition. The objective vision is also possible because of the visual senses. The subjective vision is independent of the physical senses.

In the case of Marian apparitional experience, the objective vision is due to the ‘Psychokinetic-like’ powers of the apparition and the physical visual senses of the visionaries. I believe that the apparition, to facilitate the subjective vision probably enhances ESP powers of the visionaries. Similarly, the voice extinction phenomenon may also be due to ‘psychokinetic-like’ powers of the apparition. The Marian apparitional experience is the fruit of the mutual cooperation of the appearer and the percipients. It is interesting to note how the medical findings tally with the ESP-PK theory of the apparition. I am not conjecturing that the ESP-PK theory explains the whole Marian apparitional experience. It supplements and illuminates the medical findings.

Contrary to popular belief, it is reported now in the scientific literature of parapsychology that one does not have to go through a trance state of complete sensory deprivation to experience an apparition. Thoughts and images can be projected on to the seer in mild sensory deprivation. The preceding medical studies have shown that the Medjugorje visionaries are only partially cut off from the sensory world.

Voice Phenomenon

A noteworthy feature of many of the Marian apparitions is the selective inaudibility of the voices of the visionaries while they communicate to the apparition. This phenomenon has been well investigated in the current apparitional occurrences at Medjugorje. The voices of the witnesses present at the physical site of Marian apparition do not become inaudible which makes it a selective inaudibility. The voices of the Marian visionaries are not continuously inaudible, but become periodically audible like in Medjugorje; the voices of part of their prayer with the apparition can be heard. In that way also, it is a selective inaudibility. The fact that the voices of all people present at the apparitional site do not vanish rules out the possibility of an unknown geophysical force causing the disappearance of the voices of the percipients. So the selective inaudibility makes it clear that the voice phenomenon is outside the control of the visionaries. More simply, it is like pressing the sound button on a remote TV control.

On closer scrutiny, some form of clashing sound can be heard at times when the visionaries converse to the apparition in the silent manner. Milona Von Habsburg (Girard, Girard & Bubalo, 1988) who had stayed at Medjugorje for several years and witnessed the apparitional experiences more than a hundred times, supports this observation, which has been further confirmed by amplifying the sounds of the apparitional event in the laboratory. It only means that the visionaries are attempting to produce the sounds but their voices are masked. According to the report, in the early stages of apparitions at Medjugorje, verbal communication has taken place up to three quarters of an hour, but the voices of the visionaries vanish in private conversations (Bubalo, 1987). The current apparitions last only for a short time.

During verbal communication, we have an auditory control of our voices, which in turn affects the speech movements including the movements of lips (Greene, 1980). This is one of the reasons why the lips movement of deaf and dumb people are different from normally speaking persons while the former people attempt speech movements. Even though the voices of Medjugorje visionaries are inaudible during their verbal communication with the apparition, their lips movements appear to be as if they have auditory control of their voices. The visionaries themselves have admitted to hearing their own voices of verbal communication as normal during the apparitional experience and are surprised that others cannot hear them.  This observation itself rules out manipulation and psychogenic aphonia, if at all a sceptic of the apparitional experiences proposes them as distant possibilities.

The selective inaudibility of the voices of the visionaries was observed in Lourdes (France, 1856), Fatima (Portugal 1917), Beauraing (Belgium 1932), and Banneux (Belgium 1933) (Sharkey & Debergh, 1973; Ashton, 1958; Trinity, 1984). This phenomenon is not at all reported in any other paranormal or religious experiences and characteristic of Marian apparition. The voice phenomenon had never been highlighted in the Marian apparitional literature, and the visionaries were not under any pressure to communicate in a silent manner. So the allegation that the voice phenomenon is artificial does not hold water.


Dr Lucia Carpello from Mostar noticed that during the apparitional experience a number of synchronistic behaviours occurred, and René Laurentin elaborated on them. This type of behaviour is defined by simultaneous occurrences of certain objective actions having an identical frequency of speed of movement. A good example is given by a flock of birds flying in V shape. Having studied the Medjugorje apparitions in detail, Laurentin (1984) reported seven occurrences of synchronism during the apparitional experiences suggesting objectivity — three voluntary and others probably involuntary. The disappearance of the visionaries’ voices is worthy of particular notice (Laurentin & Rupcid, 1984). As the apparitional experience commences, the visionaries kneel down together, usually simultaneously, although it was noticed that reaction times differ; the quickest seer to react is usually Ivanka. In the beginning this particular synchronism, which may be defined as a voluntary behavioural pattern, received great attention. The voices disappear simultaneously and return simultaneously when the visionaries say “…who are in Heaven.” To those who asked why the first two words of the “Our Father” had been omitted, the visionaries replied, “Our Lady says Our Father and we follow on.”  The voices return practically at the same time, depending on the reaction time of the seers, and when they finish reciting the Our Father and the Glory Be, the voices disappear once more. As the apparition draws to a conclusion, the seers look up simultaneously and they justify this movement explaining that “the Virgin Mary disappears upwards.”  This is also defined as a voluntary activity. The eye movements of a person looking at a real moving object are different from those of a person looking at an imaginary moving object; the visionaries’ eye movements at the end of the apparition correspond to the former, as I had occasion to witness in a person in Medjugorje. At that point, one visionary, or more, utter more or less simultaneously the word “Ode,” which means “She is gone.”  This is also a voluntary action. Before the apparition, Ivan and Marija’s eyeballs are mobile, as shown by the electro-oculogram taken simultaneously for both visionaries, yet, this movement ceases at the beginning of the apparitional experience, within 0.2 seconds.  The eyes of the visionaries resume simultaneously normal movement, again within 0.2 seconds, at the end of the apparitional experience.

Dr Georgio Sanguinetti from the Institute of Criminology of the University of Milan noticed another synchronicity, which is “a fleeting bodily tremor” at the end of the apparition. During my 19 visits to Medjugorje, I have observed the visionaries 21 times at the time of the apparitional experience and the “fleeting bodily tremor” caught my attention (Pandarakalam, 1992). I also noticed transient facial movements of perplexity at the end of the apparition. They appeared to me like the perplexed facial movements a person with poor eyesight would make when another person suddenly removed his or her spectacles.

Schwartz and Russek (1999b) have suggested that shared spiritual belief can produce systemic interpersonal energy and intention synchronisation. As they themselves admit, brought up in the former Yugoslavian communist regime, the visionaries were not deeply spiritual individuals, and so it is unlikely that their visions were initiated by a subtle energy system produced by the collective faith. But it is possible that collective faith has helped the progress of the Medjugorje visions. Four of the synchronisms are probably non-intentional as they appear to be involuntary and may go particularly in favour of objectivity.

The eye movement patterns differ in sequence when our eyes are focussed on an external object and when we visualise or remember something. The patterns of eye movement are not random. Both the eyeballs converge to a point on the object when we are actually looking at an object in the three-dimensional space. Both the eyeballs move upward and to the right when we just visualise only an object in our mind’s eye, whereas the eyeballs move upward and to the left when we try to remember certain details. The eyes are simply straight when unfocussed.  The position of the eyes at any given time gives us even an indication as to the part of the brain being accessed. So if the Medjugorje visionaries were only imagining a vision for about three minutes, the direction of movements of their eyeball during the claimed apparitional experience would be different from a true perception of an external object. But the eyeballs of the visionaries are converging toward an external point indicating true objectivity and do not follow the eye movement patterns of remembering or visualising.

Not a Case of Autohypnosis and Auto Apparitions

Pseudo-hallucinations indicate a special class of psychological phenomenon and are a type of mental image which although clear and vivid lacks the substantiality of perception. Hypnotic hallucinations come under this group. They are seen or are heard in full consciousness and are not located in objective space, but in the subjective space (Kunzendorf & Anees, 1990). They are usually black and white and are less colourful. The movements of the figures are highly restricted and are very much under the voluntary control. The hallucinatory figure is also within the imaginary capabilities of the individual. Self-hypnosis, like hallucination, is a word used against true apparitional experience by the sceptics. None of the Medjugorje seers were aspirant visionaries. Ivan was a reluctant visionary. There is no evidence of any intense concentration before the visionary experience. It is to be remembered that self-hypnotic and true hallucinations have some distant similarities to true apparitional experience, but they are not at all identical experiences. These apparitional experiences are not occurring on the demand of the visionaries or the witnesses. The pre-apparitional and post-apparitional mental state do not tally with the pre-hypnotic and post-hypnotic mental state. Medjugorje visionaries are seeing the apparition in the objective space and the apparition is three-dimensional. In general, people function on three different modalities, viz. visual, auditory and kinesthetic modalities. Everyone is tuned predominantly to one particular modality. Those people who function best on visual modality are the ones capable of pseudo-hallucinations of visual nature. If the Medjugorje seers are having self-hypnotic visual hallucination for such a prolonged period, one has also got to convince him that all of them are functioning on visual modality. It would have been an extremely strange coincidence that six “visual” people assembled together to have these visionary experiences without an expert selection. These arguments rule out the possibility of pseudo-hallucinations.

As in true apparitional cases, the apparition controls the Medjugorje visionaries and not the opposite way. There have been a few incidences to prove the overruling power of the apparition giving due respect to the free will of the visionaries and the other participants. The visionaries initially refused to cooperate with the medical tests in spite of strong persuasion. So they were requested to consult the apparition, and the visionaries changed their attitude on the instructions of the apparition. They became totally cooperative with the medical team if they were against the tests before this heavenly consultation.

Mirjana’s daily apparition ended in December 1982; Ivanka’s daily apparition ceased in May 1985; Jakov’s in September 1998; and other visionaries’ apparitional experiences continue to date. Even though these three visionaries would like to have the daily apparition, overruling the wishes of percipient, the appearer does not manifest to them on a daily basis. This assertiveness is an important feature of a true objective apparitional occurrence. This is a controlling apparition and not a controlled one excluding the probability of auto apparitions.


Dr Stevenson argues that collective apparitions cannot be explained away with the telepathic hypothesis of apparitions (Stevenson, 1982). The Medjugorje apparitions belong to this group of collective apparitions. Recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis (RSPK) involves spontaneous physical effect, inexplicable in terms of known physical energies, that occur repeatedly over a period of time. Dr Stevenson also believes that visionary experiences accompanied by controlled RSPK indicate a discarnate spirit at the physical site (Stevenson, 1972). The present author shares the same view (Pandarakalam, 1988). There is evidence to believe that Medjugorje apparitions involve manifestation of controlled superior “psychokinetic-like power.” The externally controlled voice phenomenon is an example. The medical observations and synchronisms suggest that the Medjugorje visionaries are responding to an outside power and not to internal stimuli. The dual modes of perception also suggest that there is a nonphysical agent in front of the visionaries. The stronger motivation on the part of the apparition, compared with percipients; collective percipience and quasi-physical features of the apparition; and the limitless loving capacity of the apparition point toward a true apparitional occurrence at Medjugorje. The selective inaudibility of the voices of the Medjugorje visionaries goes in favour of a Marian apparitional experience, as this is a characteristic phenomenon during the terrestrial visitation of the divine Mother. So we are left with the logical option of trusting the visionaries and believing in the reality of Marian apparitions at Medjugorje. After his investigatory studies, Dr Bartulica (1991) concludes that Medjugorje will remain in the history of either unusual human behaviour or authentic apparitions, regardless of the Church’s final verdict. In the years to come, paraphysics, particularly interdimensional physics, might offer complicated interpretations for the apparitional phenomena (Schwartz & Russek, 1999a; Ruth, 1989). Still, one of the alternative explanations of Medjugorje events would be the visitation of the Mother of Christ at the physical site. Scientists should study the unusual perceptions of mentally healthy persons because physicians can use that knowledge to help people in crisis situations (Stevenson, 1995). Even though all religions have demonstrated periods of greater and lesser creativity with episodes of cruelty and terror, fresh infusions of energy and intuition have saved them from ultimate obscurity (Wolman, 2000). Many observers consider Medjugorje as such a saving grace and an antidote for the afflictions of the present and succeeding generations: a heavenly response to the withdrawing roars of the retreating sea of faith (Pandarakalam, 2000).