Medjugorje Visionaries in the early days
On June 24, 1981, at about 6pm, six young parishioners from Medjugorje: Ivanka Ivankovic, Mirjana Dragicevic, Vicka Ivankovic, Ivan Dragicevic, Ivan Ivankovic and Milka Pavlovic, saw on the hill Crnica (on the place called Podbrdo) an apparition, a white form with a child in her arms. Surprised and scared, they did not approach.
The next day at the same time, June 25, 1981, four of them, Ivanka Ivankovic, Mirjana Dragicevic, Vicka Ivankovic and Ivan Dragicevic, felt strongly drawn towards the place where, the day before, they saw the One who they had recognized as Our Lady. Marija Pavlovic and Jakov Colo joined them. The group of Medjugorje visionaries was formed. They prayed with Our Lady and talked to Her.
From that day on, they had daily apparitions, together or separately. Our Lady told them that they would receive 10 secrets pertaining to man’s relationship with God and chastisements should the world not repent and return to Him. After the first day, Milka Pavlovic and Ivan Ivankovic did not receive apparitions of Our Lady again.
Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo was one of the first to see Our Lady on June 24, 1981. She was16 years old when the apparitions began. Mirjana was born on March 18, 1965, in Sarajevo where she lived with her parents, visiting her grandparents in Medjugorje during summer vacation from school. Although she returned to Sarajevo, she received daily apparitions until December 25, 1982.
On that day, she was the first to be given the 10 secrets and is entrusted with the mission to share these secrets with a priest of her choosing who, after 10 days of prayer and fasting, will relay them to the world. Our Lady told her that she would have annual apparitions on March 18 and when she particularly needed Our Lady.
Mirjana began to hear Our Lady's voice interiorly and prayed with her for unbelievers. On August 2, 1987, she was able to see Our Lady in private visions, which she was permitted to share with the public beginning February 2, 1997. She continues to have these apparitions on the 2nd of the month, often at the site of the Blue Cross on Mt Podbrdo.
Mirjana is married to her childhood friend, Marco Soldo, who is the nephew of Fr. Slavko Barbaric (deceased). Together they have two children, and live in Medjugorje.
The prayer intention that Our Lady confided to Mirjana: For unbelievers, those who have not yet come to know the love of God.
Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez was 15 years old and the first to see Our Lady as she and Mirjana walked down the dirt road near, now, Apparition Hill. She was born on June 21, 1966, in Bijakovici, in the parish of Medjugorje. Her mother died the month before and, though very shy, she was the first to address Our Lady on June 25, asking news about her mother.
Ivanka had daily apparitions (including four opportunities to see her mother), until May 7, 1985, when she became the second of the visionaries to receive all 10 secrets. Our Lady told her she will have annual apparitions on June 25, the anniversary of the apparitions.
Ivanka is married and has three children. She lives with her family in Medjugorje.
The prayer intention that Our Lady confided to Ivanka: For families.
Jakov Colo was only 10 years old when he first saw Our Lady. Born on March 6, 1971, in Sarajevo, his mother had returned home to Medjugorje when his father abandoned them. Two years after the apparitions began, his mother died and he became an orphan, living with his uncle and was raised by the villagers.
When the other visionaries left Medjugorje for additional schooling, Vicka became his special spiritual guardian and it was to the two of them that Our Lady showed visions of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory. Jakov inspired many to believe in the apparitions early on due to his diligence, prayerfulness and joy at such a young age. He had daily apparitions from June 25, 1981 to September 12, 1998, when he also was given the 10th secret. Our Lady told him that for the rest of his life he would have an annual apparition, on Christmas Day. To his great consolation she always arrives carrying the Infant Jesus.
Jakov is married to Annalisa Barozzi, of Italy. They have three children and live in Medjugorje.
The prayer intention that Our Lady confided to Jakov: For the sick.
Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic was the eldest of the visionaries at 16 when the apparitions began and was the most vivacious of the group. She was born on September 9, 1964, in Bijakovici, in the parish of Medjugorje. One of 8 children, she was known for her outgoing nature and unceasing smile even before the visions began.
At Our Lady’s request, Vicka stayed in Medjugorje when the others left to attend school elsewhere. She continued to live the simple peasant life of the village and became the unofficial greeter of the pilgrims who began to gather. She also guided Jakov under Our Lady’s guidance.
After a vision in which she and Jakov witnessed Heaven, Hell and Purgatory, Vicka volunteered to take on extra suffering for the conversion of sinners. She has suffered greatly through the years, but always maintains her radiant smile for visitors.
In 1982, she also was commissioned by Our Lady to transcribe a book that Our Lady dictated about her life on earth. These writings will be made public in Our Lady’s time and at her discretion.
Vicka has received 9 secrets and continues to have daily apparitions. Vicka married in 2002 and they two children. After years of serving Medjugorje pilgrims she now lives a more private life with her family in Krehin Gradac near Medjugorje.
The prayer intention that Our Lady confided to Vicka: for the sick.
Ivan Dragicevic was a very shy 16-year old when the apparitions began. He was born on May 25, 1965 in Bijakovici, in the parish of Medjugorje. He entered the seminary soon after the visions began, but returned home after a short time.
In a special revelation, granted by Our Lady, Ivan was shown his full life till death which has made him deeply dependent on her guidance.
Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti was also 16 when the apparitions began. She was born on April 1, 1965, in Bijakovici, in the parish of Medjugorje. One of six children, she was a close neighbor and friend of Vicka’s.
The Messages for the parish of Medjugorje were entrusted to Marija every Thursday, beginning March 1, 1984, as Our Lady began spiritually to form the community for its special role in her plans for this center of peace. On January 25, 1987, the messages were directed to the whole world and again, Marija was the official spokesperson. These messages continue to this day on the 25th of every month.
Marija considered a religious vocation but was prompted to consider the ground for all holy vocations, a good religious family. Also, because the visions continued, she felt called to be able to witness to them. Along with Ivan, she helped form the youth prayer group that meets on the hillsides in Medjugorje.
She received three special gifts from Our Lady, the first, after one apparition, the ability instantly to understand and speak Italian perfectly, helpful since she would marry an Italian. Second, a special blessing to be passed onto unbelievers for conversion. The third a gift of love to give to others from Our Lady.Marija has received 9 of the 10 secrets and continues to have daily apparitions.
She is married to Paolo Lunetti and they have four sons. With her family, she lives in Italy and in Medjugorje.
The prayer intention that Our Lady confided to Marija: For the souls in purgatory.
Content taken from the official website:
http://medjugorje.hr/en/medjugorje-phenomenon/apparitions/, www.medjugorje.com/medjugorje/medjugorje-visionaries, www.medjugorje.org/avip.htm