Our Lady of Medjugorje from Bosnia Herzegovina wood carved Statue with Halo Made; The term "apparitions of Medjugorje" refers to a series of alleged supernatural phenomena that began on June 24, 1981 in Medjugorje, a town in present-day Bosnia-Herzegovina, and are still taking place today.
On the afternoon of June 24, 1981, Ivanka Ivankovic, then 15 years old, and Mirjana Dragicevic, 16 years old, were walking at the foot of Podbrdo hill when, at four o'clock in the afternoon, they would catch a glimpse of a female figure on a small cloud. Frightened, the two girls fled and returned to the village. Shortly thereafter, around 6:30 p.m., they decided to return to the hill accompanied by Vicka Ivankovic, Ivanka's cousin. The three girls would have seen again the female figure with a child in her arms and would have identified her immediately with the Madonna.
The next day the girls went up the hill again, accompanied by Marja Pavlovic, cousin of Mirjana, by Jakov Colo, 10 years old, and by Ivan Dragicevic, 16 years old. Our Lady would have appeared again to the whole group and would have had a brief dialogue with Ivanka about her mother, who had disappeared a few months before.
On June 26, the group climbed the hill again and again had a brief dialogue with Our Lady. Our Lady invites the visionaries to pray for peace.
The news of the apparitions begins to spread, arousing the irritation of the Yugoslav police. On June 27th the children are asked to undergo a psychiatric examination but they refuse.
At sunset they would have a new dialogue with Our Lady. On the precise place of the apparitions the people of the village place a stone marked with a white cross.
On the 28th of June at least ten thousand people attend the evening apparition of the Virgin Mary.
On June 29, the visionaries are once again picked up by the Yugoslav police and taken to the psychiatric hospital of Mostar for examination. The assessment confirms their sanity and they are released in the evening; back on the hill they witness another apparition.
On June 30, two collaborators of the secret services convinced the children to leave Medjugorje, while the hill was closed by the police. In the evening, at the time of the apparition, the visionaries are in a car between Lubezki and Citluk and see Our Lady coming towards them on the road. On this occasion, Our Lady is said to have said that she would appear for only three more days. Doubts have been raised about the veracity of the actual intervention of the secret services in the event: the children were accompanied by two social workers Mica Ivankovic, cousin of Vicka and Ivanka, and Ljubica Vasilj-Gluvic. The same evening, speaking with Father Jozo in a recorded conversation, they affirmed that they had freely chosen to go on an excursion to Cerna, a well-known tourist place in Bosnia, without being subjected to any kind of pressure.
On July 1, the visionaries are again taken away by the police. The apparition takes place in the police van where they are kept prisoner.
On July 2, in order to escape from the police, the boys hide in the Franciscan rectory and here they see a new apparition of Our Lady.
In mid-July the news of the alleged apparitions appeared in a Catholic newspaper in Zagreb, thus giving international relevance to the facts. The first pilgrims from abroad began to approach Medjugorje. The Yugoslavian authorities order the closure of Podbrdo, while on August 12, Father Jozo Zovko, head of the Franciscan community of Medjugorje, is arrested and is considered by the police to be the real instigator of the apparitions. Father Jozo will be sentenced to eight years for the crime of "attack on the security and unity of the homeland".
Meanwhile, Medjugorje is visited by an increasing number of visitors, curious and pilgrims who claim to see signs and luminous figures in the sky. Seventeen months after the visions began, Father Jozo is released and the authorities decide to no longer hinder the flow of pilgrims or the activities of the visionaries.