Sunday, August 1, 2010
There is a Life After This Life
I would like to welcome you all with the most beautiful greeting, "Praised be Jesus and Mary."And even more, I would like to give you thanks because you are willing to hear the message of Our Lady. I am standing here before you and I am asking God, "Why did you choose me?" I have been asking this same question to myself and, to be honest with you, I do not have an answer. I have accepted this great gift and, at the same time, I accepted this great responsibility. I am asking God to give me the strength to follow the way He has asked me to.
Ivanka has been given a very special task, from Our Lady, to pray for the family. Ivanka stresses the importance of this to pilgrims today, and reminds us that Our Lady invites us to, "...renew family prayer."
In 1981, I lived with my family in Mostar. Every year during the summer and holy days, I spent time in Bijakovici and here in Medjugorje. On the feast of Saint John the Baptist, June 24, 1981, because it was a holy day of obligation, we have a custom not to work on holy days and Sundays. So the only thing we did that day, we went to church. Usually in the afternoon our parents would have a rest and the children were allowed to play. That's what we did. That afternoon I and Mirjana, the visionary, took a walk outside the village. We were waiting for other kids to join us. We were tired of waiting, and we started walking back toward the village, toward our houses. On my way back, I felt this call in my heart; something was calling me to look toward the hill. When I looked toward the hill, I saw the Mother of God. I said to Mirjana, "Mirjana look there is Gospa, Our Lady on the hill." And you see, Mirjana just waved her hand and said, "What foolish things are you telling me about, what Our Lady?", and she took off. I kept quiet as well, and I followed her. When we arrived at the first houses we met Milka, visionary Marija's sister, who was going to gather the sheep. But when Milka saw my face, she asked me immediately, "What happened to you? Look at what you look like." Walking back together with the two girls, I told Milka what I saw. When we came to the same place I was, from where I saw Our Lady, all three of us saw Her. She was maybe four or five hundred meters away from us. She kept waving to us to come to Her. I felt all kinds of emotions, all of them were mixed in my heart, but you see fear conquered all other emotions. In the meantime, Vicka(visionary) came to us, and she noticed that something was going on with the three of us. We told her, "Hurry up, we see Our Lady on the hill." Vicka took off her shoes, and she ran away towards the houses. She met two boys, two Ivans, and she told them what we said we saw. Because she had boys with her, she gained courage and came back with them to us. Even though there were six of us, none of us wanted to get close to Our Lady. To be honest with you, I don't know how long we spent at the base of the hill. I know that some of us went home, but also a couple of us stayed. We were so scared. We were crying. On the way back to the village, we entered the first house. The family of the house we entered in was celebrating the feast of Saint John the Baptist. There were many people having a dinner, and we told them, crying, "We saw Our Lady." I remember there were many apples on the table, and they started throwing them at us. They told us, "Be quiet, do not play with these things. Do not tell anybody what you just told us." So we went back to our homes. When I came home, I told my granny, my brother, my sister, what I saw. Granny told me, "My child this is not possible." She told me, "Probably someone was guarding the sheep on the hill."My brother and my sister were making jokes about me whenever I mentioned Our Lady. I was fifteen at that time. To be honest with you, this was the longest night of my life. I was questioning myself whether the apparitions were possible or not. I was questioning myself whether I was normal, whether I saw what I saw?
But you see the word of what we saw spread so quickly to other villages that people from other villages started coming the next day. I remember my granny held my hand. She told me,"Whatever is up there, you are not going." But we saw the light three times on the hill, you see we got this strength, so we hurried up the hill. We were running so fast that nobody could keep up with us. When we stood before Our Lady, I have to tell you that, my eyes have never seen something more beautiful than She is. She is young, and She looks like She is nineteen or twenty. Our Lady always has a grey dress, white veil, and a crown of stars, blue eyes and black hair. She always floats on a cloud. Earthly words cannot describe the feeling when you see Our Lady, so much love. You feel so secure when you are with Her. At that moment, when I saw Her again, I knew in my heart that was the Blessed Mother. Two months before that day my mother had passed away, and then I asked Her immediately when I saw Her, "Our Lady where is my mom?" She smiled at me and said, "Do not worry, your mom is with Me." She told us not to be afraid of anything, that She was going to be with us all the time. In the meantime, people caught up with us. They came to us, and they realized that something was going on with us. So on the third day, when we were about to leave for the apparition, we were advised by the others to bring with us Holy Water and Blessed Holy Salt. They advised us to bless that image we saw. So when Our Lady came, Vicka blessed Our Lady with Holy Water, and Vicka told Her, "If You come from God stay, but if You do not come from God ,please leave us." Our Lady smiled back to her, and She said, "I am the Queen of Peace." The first message Our Lady gave to us was the message of peace. After that, Our Lady invites us to peace, conversion, fasting, penance, and prayer. So, from the very beginning of Medjugorje, these are the most important messages Our Lady has been giving to all of us. I always say, in a simple way, we have questions, but these are the answers.
From 1981 to 1985, I had the apparitions on a daily basis. Through these years, Our Lady told me all Her life story, a biography. She told me the future of the Church and the world. I wrote everything down, and when Our Lady tells me when and who to give these papers to, I'll do it. On May 7th 1985, I had my last daily apparition. That was the longest apparition I had because Our Lady spent one hour with me. That was the day when I was given the tenth secret, and I was told that I will no longer have the apparitions on a daily basis, but only once a year on June 25th each year. So from 1985 until this year, I have had this annual apparition on the 25th of June. On the day when I received the tenth secret, Our Lady gave a great gift for me, but also a great gift for the world, because all of us ask ourselves is there life after this life. I'm standing here before all of you as a living witness, and I can tell you, there is a life after this life; because on that day in May I was able to see my late mother. I was able to give Her a hug, and my mother told me, "My child I am proud of you."
For 28 years Our Lady has been showing us the way we should take, and we people are those who will make the decision whether we will accept this way or not, and that way is the way of conversion, peace, love, fasting. The six of us visionaries, each has our own separate task, and I was chosen by Our Lady to pray for families. I am inviting all of you to respect the sacrament of Holy Matrimony, to attend Holy Mass every Sunday, and to have at least one confession monthly. Our Lady invites us all to renew the family prayer, so that the Word of God and the Holy Bible is in the center of our lives. Everyday I pray for the families in the world, but at the same time I'm kindly asking all of you to pray for our families. Many pilgrims think that we visionaries are privileged, that we are closer to God than the rest of you. On the contrary, we are the same as you, and it's not enough to see physically, to see with our eyes. The most important thing is to open our hearts and to have Our Lady in our hearts. The only thing we need to do is open our hearts because Our Lady is here with us today, now and we have to make the decision whether we want to let Her in and to open our hearts and accept Her messages. That is why, carry peace in your hearts, and carry peace to your families, to your countries, to your churches. This is the only way we are able to help Our Lady, so that Her plan is realized, that we bring light to this world. In my annual apparition this year, on the 25th of June, Our Lady invited all of us to "…become apostles of peace," and to pray for peace in the world. Let us become the apostles of peace. Thank You.
Medjugorje Visionary Ivanka