The Medjugorje Apparitions: Real or Not?
Posted on 03 October 2016, 7:16
As a Catholic school student during the 1940s, I read or heard about the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Guadalupe, Fatima, and Lourdes. I even prayed with my parents at the Guadalupe cathedral outside Mexico City. However, upon parting ways with the Church some 50 years ago, I more or less forgot about all those alleged apparitions and other “miracles” involving various saints. I say “more or less” because there were times now and then when I pondered on them and tried to reconcile them with the paranormal phenomena I had come to accept as genuine. I wondered why I should believe that D. D. Home, one of the most famous mediums in the annals of psychical research, could be levitated (lifted by spirits) while various saints who are said to have been levitated could not. Or to put it another way, I wondered if many saints were, in fact, mediums, even though the Church might not approve of such an “occult” label and reject the idea that non-Catholics might have the same “gifts” as elevated Catholics.
As the debunkers view it, either the various children who claimed to see the Blessed Virgin Mary (Blessed Mother or Mother Mary, if you’re not Catholic) craved attention and were playing childish pranks, or they were underfed and suffered from hallucinations, perhaps a combination of both. Where more than one child was involved, it was nothing more than a collaborative prank or a collective hallucination. The pranks and/or hallucinations continued over time, the debunkers reason, because the young “visionaries” cherished the celebrity status accorded them by those simple-minded people who believe they were/are actually in contact with the spirit world.
As set forth in My Heart Will Triumph, a recently published book, such apparitions of the Blessed Mother are continuing today, in the village of Medjugorje in what was once the country of Yugoslavia. Author Mirjana Soldo is one of the six visionaries experiencing the apparitions, which began on June 24, 1981, when she was just 16 and a sophomore in high school. The other five ranged from 10 to 16. According to Mirjana, the apparitions were daily for the first 18 months, but 13 times a year and mostly individually for her after that, on her birthday on March 18 and on the second of every month. That of September 2, 2016 can be seen on www.youtube.com
The messages communicated by the Blessed Mother are primarily petitions to love, forgive, overcome, live in peace, and expect eternal life. “Our Lady asks us to return the Word of God to our homes,” Mirjana, now 51, writes in this autobiography. “Do not let it sit in a dusty corner like a decoration, but put it in a place of honor where it will be seen and touched.” She then quotes a message given to her on August 2, 2015: With a simple heart accept His word and live it. If you live His word, you will pray. If you live His word, you will love with a merciful love; you will love each other.
As recent as March 2, 2016, the message was: Free yourselves from everything that binds you to only what is earthly and permit what is of God to form your life by your prayer and sacrifice… Seemingly more significant than the regular messages received over the past 35 years, however, are the 10 “secrets” entrusted to Mirjana and the other visionaries. These secrets are yet to be revealed and will not be revealed until the Blessed Mother tells the visionaries that it is time. As I understand it, the secrets were given individually to the six visionaries over many years and they were instructed not to compare notes or discuss them with each other or with anyone else. “I can say this much – after events contained in the first two secrets come to pass, Our Lady will leave a permanent sign on Apparition Hill where she first appeared,” Mirjana writes. “Everyone will be able to see that human hands could not have made it. People will be able to photograph and film the sign, but in order to truly comprehend it – to experience it with the heart – they will need to come to Medjugorje. Seeing it live, with the eyes, will be far more beautiful.”
Mirjana says that 10 days before each event, she is to tell a priest who is to be chosen for that purpose and he will then tell the world three days before the event takes place, after both she and he fast and pray for seven days. Mirjana adds that she was very troubled by the seventh secret and asked the Blessed Mother for the event to be lessened. She was instructed to pray and rallied friends and family members in Sarajevo to pray and fast. Eight months later, during an apparition, she was told that it has “softened,” but not to again ask for such mitigation since “God’s will must be done.”
A parchment with elegant cursive handwriting setting forth the 10 secrets was given to her by the Blessed Mother at the last daily apparition, Mirjana claims. In a moment of weakness, she showed the parchment to a cousin and friend, but what they read did not match what Mirjana read. The cousin said she saw it as some kind a prayer or poem, while the friend saw it as a letter from someone asking for help.
Today, after 35 years, Mirjana often visits with the five other visionaries. “...we might talk about our families or our missions, but we never discuss the secrets,” she writes. “The six of us do not even know if all the secrets we’ve been given are the same.”
What I found especially interesting about Mirjana’s story is the socio-political aspects of the communist regime and their attempts to stifle the visionaries. Mirjana suddenly became an outcast. She was frequently interrogated by the police, abandoned by her friends, expelled from her high school and forced to attend a school for delinquents, and her family was threatened. Newspapers castigated the visionaries, one of them referring to them as “six yokels.”
Frankly, I don’t know what to make of the Medjugorje apparitions. I don’t believe they were or are pranks carried out by the six visionaries over some 35 years. Supporting this belief are various studies by scientists – neurological and psychological, including hypnotic – ruling out deception by the visionaries. Moreover, there is too much sincerity and earnestness in the writings of Mirjana to give any real weight to the possibility that she has carried on the deception for 35 years because she relishes the celebrity status. Such deception would be in complete opposition to the truths she is attempting to relay in the book. If deception, you’d think one of the six would have exposed it all by now.
To the extent that hallucinations are defined to be perceptions outside of known reality, the apparitions may very well be hallucinations; however, that does not mean they are unreal in a greater reality. It does mean that they are outside the boundaries of mainstream science. In the book, Scientific & Medical Studies on the Apparitions at Medjugorje, authors René Laurentin and Henri Joyeux discuss the state of “ecstasy” observed with the six visionaries. “Suddenly their gaze, already fixed on the location of the apparition, becomes more intense,” they explain. “There are hardly any movements of the eyelids. Their faces become almost imperceptibly brighter and turn toward the invisible speaker. They kneel down very naturally, all at the same moment…. Their lips can be seen moving, but no voices are heard, just as it was with Bernadette at Lourdes. They were not conscious of this and were surprised when we questioned them about this unusual phenomenon. They believe they are speaking normally.”
Close observation by the researchers yielded no indication of play-acting or any attempts to follow a leader in the group or otherwise coordinate their movements. The visionaries seemed to lose contact with the surroundings and remain insensitive to stimulation, even pinching and prodding. At the beginning of the ecstasy, eye movements ceased almost simultaneously and the eyes remained immobile.
What I have difficulty with are some of the messages – those suggesting worship over works, rote prayer over creative entreaty, and mindless rituals over meaningful tributes. I find it difficult to believe that an advanced soul, such as the Blessed Mother must be, would urge such mechanistic activities as a way to overcome materialism and return to a greater spiritual consciousness. It may be that I am more spiritually challenged than I had realized, but I am certain that I could never return to such a perfunctory spiritual consciousness as that offered by orthodox religions, Catholic or Protestant.
Just as mediums are said to be limited by the capacity of their own brains in what can be filtered through those brains by more advanced spiritual beings, it could be that the visionaries are likewise limited in what they can understand and communicate, thus interpreting everything in words and ways that are within their vocabularies and knowledge. But then one wonders why the Blessed Mother didn’t recognize that her messages would be distorted or oversimplified, unless her primary objective was to reach the masses – those with limited spiritual consciousness who had strayed from spiritual ways to materialistic ways and could only find their way back by returning to pagan-like worship, rote prayer and the rituals of religion. Better a narrowed spiritual consciousness than embracing materialism and moving into hedonism, as the world seems to have done.
At the risk of being charged with blasphemy and spending eternity in hell if the Catholic Church really has it all figured out, I see another possibility – that of the “group soul.” According to fairly recent revelation, many souls continue to identify with their earthly religions after transitioning to a certain realm on the other side, and thus there are Catholic communities, Baptist communities, Mormon communities, Jewish communities, etc. in what might be called the lower-middle realms of the afterlife. As the souls continue to evolve, they eventually free themselves from the restricted beliefs of their respective religions while moving to higher realms on their way to Oneness with God.
Combine the group soul idea with the findings of Allan Kardec, the pioneering French psychical researcher who purportedly received messages from John the Evangelist, St. Augustine, St. Vincent De Paul, St. Louis, “The Spirit of Truth,” Socrates, Plato, Fénélon, Franklin and Swedenborg. As Kardec came to understand, superior spirits, while preserving their individuality, have no need to be identified with their teachings delivered while on earth, but because humans seem to need an identity in order to fix their ideas, spirits who identify with the teachings of the famous personage and belong to the same “family” or “collective whole” may take that famous name to appease us, as it is the teaching, not the signature, that is important. In effect, the Marian apparitions may be of well-intentioned spirits in a Catholic community at some mid-level afterlife realm. As explained to Kardec, this is not really deception, as it is somehow sanctioned by the famous personage or authorized by him or her. It’s another area in which we might error in assuming that we can apply terrestrial reasoning to celestial ways and means.
The group soul idea might seem far fetched, but it is the only way I can reconcile it all, unless, as I said, the Blessed Mother is really appearing and trying to reach the masses, not those who have attempted to move beyond the perfunctory ways of organized religions.
Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife and Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I.
Next blog post: October 17
I believe the real naive and simplistic thinking is by those who assume that God, whatever He, She, or It happens to be, should get all the blame if things are not going well here on the earth plane, or that God (or the Blessed Mother)can flip a switch and give us a world in which everyone is happy, one in which there is no adversity. This runs counter to the free will idea and the spirit teachings that we are in the material realm to evolve spiritually. We do that through encountering adversity in life and learning to overcome it.
I can only believe that the Blessed Mother was not suggesting that she has the power to flip such a switch and bring peace to the world. She was suggesting that by becoming more spiritual we can restore balance to the world. There seems to be a positive-negative aspect to all of this and we are now too much on the negative side. That’s the way I interpret it, although I still have difficulty with some aspects of it, as I previously indicated.
Michael Tymn, Thu 17 Nov, 05:15
Dr. James notes the following: “Mother Mary identifies as the “Queen of peace” at Medjugorje. So, hopefully she would bring about world peace in the near future.”
No offense but this reads like extremely naive rubbish to me.
Why has the Virgin Mary not brought world peace in many thousands of years now? We have had nothing but wars, crusades, persecutions, misery and suffering across the globe for thousands of years even with hundreds and hundreds of millions praying for peace for thousands of years. The Virgin Mary never stopped the world wars nor did she stop Stalin from killing 30 million of his own innocent people, as one example. All this talk of people needing to pray more to have the Virgin Mary bring” world peace in the near future” is laughable to me and a product of very naïve and simplistic thinking.
Brian, Thu 10 Nov, 13:28
It looks like that most of the respondents of this blog feel comfortable with “group soul activity.” I may state humorously that at least, the apparition at Medjugorje does not seem to belong to “the spirit colonies” of the lower middle realm as she has declared her multi-religious outlook in the initial stages of the apparitional occurrences! There is an account in the Medjugorje literature about a Muslim woman about whom the apparition told the seers that the holiest person in the village was “Pasha.” The visionaries responded, “But Pasha is a Muslim,” and Mary acknowledged that. One has to jump off several fences to arrive at the Marian apparitional views of Medjugorje.
Dr James Paul Pandarakalam, Thu 10 Nov, 11:36
I have exchanged several email with Dr. James Pandarakalam, a psychiatrist practicing in London, over the last few days and have his permission to reprint his email here. Dr. Pandarakalam has been to Medjugorje 70 times over the past 30 years to observe and study the visionaries. I informed him that I especially had a problem with requests by the Blessed Mother that we say the rosary and fast regularly. As a Catholic myself for the first 30 years of my life, I could never see much sense in saying the rosary, which involves saying the same “Hail Mary” prayer over and over again. Also, I wondered how fasting tied in with spirituality. Further, it seemed to me that in asking people to say the rosary she is asking for worship or praise and I find it difficult to believe that God, Jesus, Mary, or any advanced spirit would ask to be worshiped or praised like some pagan idol.
Here is how Dr. Pandarakalam responded:
“In organizational terms I am a Roman Syrian Catholic. Six generations ago, my ancestors were Hindu Namboothiries but I am a cradle Catholic.
I shall try to answer your difficult questions.
“The rosary is gospel in pill form. When someone says the rosary, like “Hail Mary,full of grace, the Lord is with you…” we are reminded of the words of the angelic announcement of the virgin conception of Christ. All the 15 mysteries are cantered on the life of Christ. Rosary itself is a pilgrimage through the Holy Land!
“I do not think that Our Lady is particularly flattered by the praises she receives by the repeated chanting of the rosary words. She has 2000 years of heavenly experiences and we are only like kids and the rosary is kids’ conversation with the mother. There is an element of self hypnosis and mindfulness in the rosary recitation- a preparation for spiritual communication with higher dimensions. Our Lady is a powerful ancestral spirit and capable of immense spiritual help with nine legions at her service. In fact, what I understand from Medjugorje is that she wants only to be in the shadow of Christ.
“After 35 years of her physical manifestations at Medjugorje, the church of Medjugorje is still Christ’s church and the centre of worship is Holy Trinity and not Mary. Moreover, Mary is appearing there as the Mother of all nations. Rosary is a very simple prayer that can be said by the illiterate beggar in the Indian streets as well as by the high priests of Vatican.
“One thing I have noticed in her messages is that she reconfirms and emphasises the existence of satan unlike the mediumistic communications where there is little mention of the existence of negative intellectual entities. She is asking for simple prayers with fasting to liberate the world from their captivity.
“In her messages she has repeated the term “God the Father” more than 80 times. Catholics tend to forget His existence.
“According to Catholic traditions, Mary is hailed above the angels and we should be proud that one of our ancestral human being has been raised above the angelic creations. Such a situation tells us that humans can aspire to higher levels and ultimately to be Christ-like.
“I think that I may have inherited some form of ancestral goddess worship, but my genetics have been very much trimmed/mutated by my Medjugorje visits.
“My take on fasting is that fasting generates hypoglycemia in the brain and brain becomes under-active; psychical powers become more active at the expense of the under-activity of the brain. A fasting person becomes spiritually more attuned with the higher dimensions if he also prays. Prayer is seeking God, Prayer is dialogue with God, Prayer is surrender to God,
Prayer is consecration to God (of oneself and others),Prayer is friendship with God, Prayer is living together with God, Prayer is singing praises to God, Prayer is exaltation of God,
Prayer is ‘filling the empty water-pots’ like at Cana, and Jesus does the miracle, Prayer is the place and time of transfiguration-Tabor.
“Mother Mary identifies as the “Queen of peace” at Medjugorje. So, hopefully she would bring about world peace in the near future. Medjugorje should be understood in a context of other historical Marian apparitions, particularly the Fatima apparitions where Our Lady promised a period of peace after the conversion of Russia. She herself has pointed out once in her Medjugorje messages that she is appearing so long to fulfil her Fatima promises. Medjugorje is the hope of the world. She also said in her La Sallete messages that a period of peace would commence during the pontificate of an unexpected Pope (like the unexpected US president).
“While estimates vary, the most recent figure published for worldwide nuclear weapon stocks by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (the best international source for such figures) is 16,300. A more recent but arguably less reliable figure from the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) puts the worldwide total at 15,650.The flagship of Russia’s Nothern Fleet, heavy nuclear missile cruiser ‘Pyotr Veliky’ Located across 14 countries at some 98 sites, roughly 10,000 are believed to be in military arsenals while the remaining are in storage and scheduled for dismantlement.
“Of those 10,000, about 4,000 are described by the Bulletin as “operationally available”, while at any given time 1,800 nuclear weapons are held on high alert – meaning they can be deployed with just a few minutes’ notice. Of the total global inventory, 93% are held by the US and Russia. Very recent figures from the Bulletin estimate that the US has 7,100 nuclear warheads, consisting of 2,080 deployed, 2,680 in storage and 2,340 retired and awaiting dismantlement. Russia – which is less open with its figures – is thought to have slightly more, around 8,000 in total.
“North Korea missiles on trucks make its way during a massive military parade to mark the 65th anniversary of the communist nation’s ruling Workers’ Party in Pyongyang, North Korea The UK has about 215 warheads in total, though it relies heavily on the US to maintain them. Each of its four nuclear submarines carries 16 Trident missiles at any given time.
“France has 300 warheads, some of which are deliverable by aircraft. Like the UK, it has one nuclear-armed submarine on patrol at all times. China only has about 250 warheads, and none of them are thought to be fully deployed according to the FAS. China is believed to be in the process of increasing its arsenal. The most recent update on Israel suggests it has 80 nuclear warheads, though the country officially neither confirms nor denies their existence. The FAS says Pakistan has around 100-120, India 90-110, and North Korea fewer than 10, none of which has been made operational.
“According to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), there are now some 40 countries that have nuclear power or research reactors capable of being diverted for weapons production. This is the current world situation.
“Can any of the world leaders abolish any of these nuclear arsenals? Here is the question we really need to ask ourselves: What would the world be like now if Mary had not come at such a crucial point in history?
“I do not claim that I know everything.”
Michael Tymn, Thu 10 Nov, 01:30
James, just curious. How do we know the Medjugorje apparitions are not simply a fraud? You have probably looked into this perhaps from a scientific perspective so hoping you can explain to me why this is not a fraud. I am not saying it is a fraud but I do not know.
Brian, Wed 9 Nov, 19:57
I cannot agree with the “Astral Actor” explanation you have indirectly referred in your write up. As you know, there is nothing suggestive of mediumship in the Medjugorje apparitions. They are visual apparitions at the physical site. Of course, there is an element of mental mediumship in all intense spiritual activities. In one of my papers in the Journal of Spirituality and Paranormal studies (vol 35, Number3, July2012, pages150-160) I have argued against mediumistic explanation of Medjugorje. There has never been reported to and fro communications for such a long period in any other apparitional occurrences with selective voice black out. On one instance in the early stages, up to 45 minutes of to and fro communication is reported to have taken place between Vicka and the apparition. Generic apparitions are generally taciturn or speak a few words. The visionaries do not go into a trance state and they are in a unique apparitional mental state which is mostly outside their control. If a “paranormal fraud” in the name of Blessed Mother is brought to the equation, one way of solving the riddle is by applying the Biblical test- a tree is known by its fruits.
“For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. . Luke 6:43-45New
The SPIRITUAL fruits of Medjugorje have been good so far.
James P. Pandarakalam, Wed 9 Nov, 06:47
If it was not the Virgin Mary it was definitely an apparition of a woman with veil on and hands together as if in prayer. Regardless, it is something that should not be possible if indeed there is nothing more than just the material world so it gives hope of there being something more.
Brian, Mon 7 Nov, 14:04
Brian, I know little about religion so I just looked up the answer to your question on the internet. For what it is worth:
Brian, Mon 7 Nov, 13:54
” As we know from early Christian writings, the Apostle Luke the Evangelist personally knew the Virgin Mary and based several chapters of His Gospel on Her recollections. He even quoted Her exact words several times. He was a physician and an artist, and because of his affection for Her, he painted Her portrait, from which later icon painters made copies. The name of the painting is “Our Lady of Perpetual Help”. If you go to the link below there is a picture of the portrait ”
Thanks for taking the time to share the experience of your mother and brother. It sounds like they definitely saw an apparition of some kind. You said they said it looked like pictures of the Blessed Virgin, but how does anyone know what she looked like? Perhaps the various artists were inspired or doing some automatic painting in which they captured her exact image. Then again, there are a variety of images of her, some not resembling the others. It is all very mystifying.
Michael Tymn, Sun 6 Nov, 21:07
For what it is worth, my mother (10 at the time) and her brother (13 at the time) saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary about 10 yrs after WWII in Lithuania (their town was devastated by Russians and Germans). Both my mom and brother are in their 70s now and recall the apparition as if it was seen yesterday. It was like being a few feet from a painting it was that clear. The apparition floated across the wall of the home and disappeared. She was a woman with veil on with hands clasped together as if in prayer. There was no light in the room as the light was off and there was no windows which could have reflected anything from the outside. Neither of the children led on the other one as both saw the apparition at the same time as the together walked into one of the rooms in the house and together watched in awe. They discussed what they saw and agreed they saw the exact same thing. They were both extremely excited as could not make sense of what was going on although immediately it came to their minds that what they were looking at was the Virgin Mary as it looked similar to paintings depicting the Virgin they had at seen at friends’ homes or at their church where they rarely went.
My mom and her brother told their mom what they say when she got home and and she did not believe them dismissing this as just a game they were playing.
They know what they saw and it was the Virgin Mary. It was not some fuzzy blob of light or anything else. Both saw the same thing at the same time. This was no mass hallucination as there is no such thing (ask psychiatrists) and they were not lying as they had nothing to gain (especially lying for 60 years); they did not misinterpret anything as what they saw was very distinct, not fuzzy leaving no room for interpretation; both told very few people other than a few family members over the years.
This year a psychiatrist I know who studies Virgin Mary apparitions interviewed my mom and recorded her experience. The psychiatrist is also a professor of psychiatry at a major University.
Neither my mom nor brother were raised in an especially devout Catholic family (their father died during WWII when they were a few yrs old) and were raised by their mom who rarely went to church. They were not “indoctrinated” into religion so they were not predisposed to “see” something religious that was not there.
Their were no religious icons at home so it was not possible that some light reflected off some painting of the Virgin Mary or whatever else skeptics would jump to.
I disagree with the theory these are spirits other than the Virgin Mary. I think what some kids see is the apparition of the Virgin Mary, for whatever reason. In this case there was no communication as the apparition floated across the wall in about 10 seconds but there was no doubt as to what it was.
Just sharing my mom’s experience. BTW, my mom and bother never became fanatical Catholics after this experience. My mom in her 70s now believes in God but has no idea why they saw the apparition nor did it change their lives. My mom does not go to church and often dismisses paranormal claims of others so she is not someone that automatically believes in all sorts of bizarre claims. All she knows is she saw what she saw but has no idea why she and her brother saw the Virgin Mary appear before them.
If this was not bizarre enough, my mom’s cousin who was about 10 yrs younger than my mom ended up moving into this same home after my mom and her family moved out years later. As a girl my mom’s cousin also claimed to have seen an apparition of the Virgin Mary in this home. She told this to my mom when they were both over 40 yrs old when my mom told her cousin what she saw when she was a child. The cousin confided she too saw the Virgin Mary in the same home.
Either they are all liars or they all saw the Virgin Mary. My mom and her brother are very serious down to earth people. I know they were not lying nor did the misinterpret what they saw. It would be akin to standing a few feet from the Monal Lisa painting and describing it. There is nothing fuzzy or indiscernible about the Mona Lisa painting when you stand a few feet from it, same as the apparition witnessed my mom.
Had my mom been alone and claimed to see this apparition I would have written it off as a child’s imagination but when a girl and brother see it together at the same time, then years later a cousin living in the same home sees it, well then I have to assume it is something of a paranormal nature which I assume was the Virgin Mary.
Brian, Sat 5 Nov, 19:21
Jane Katra, Tue 18 Oct, 19:33
Your writing and everyone’s comments and discussion are all quite interesting. I think our realm/ dimension of life is full of events and individual experiences and reports thereof that are enlivened by the life force, love, which constantly expresses itself, and is filtered through the conditioned minds of the receivers and observers.
Thanks for the interesting information. I gather that these photos are not connected with Medjugorge, but I am not sure. Can you provide a little more information as to when, why, and how they were taken? Can you send them to me by email?
Michael Tymn, Mon 10 Oct, 06:31
I have 2 photographs in my office taken by two different clinets about one year apart which show each one female - these are photographs that the studio said “did not come out”. One looks like the classic Virgin Mary and the second one looks like a European female with a robe Very interesting that when these negatives that the studio said were “no good” they both got female images. I’ll send them to anyone who would like to see them. Blessings Karen
Karen Herrick PhD, Sun 9 Oct, 15:45
Yvonne Limoges, Fri 7 Oct, 20:55
I agree with your last two paragraphs.
Everyone’s spirit on the planet is at a different spiritual, moral and intellectual level as well as
having different belief systems.
Superior spirits use whatever and whoever it takes to teach the Divine Laws and moral lessons
as they can be understood ...which must reach everyone.
One further clarification: I don’t think the “group soul” is necessarily an “undeveloped” soul. For example, the Imperator group, which was headed up by Imperator and included Rector, Doctor and 40 or so others was supposedly a more or less advanced group, although at different levels. Imperator was supposedly at too high a vibration to communicate directly through Stainton Moses and Leonora Piper and had to relay communication through Rector and others who were at a lower vibration, one closer to Piper and Moses.
Michael Tymn, Fri 7 Oct, 07:55
Nice analysis Ian. I have often thought myself that belief systems are brought before man to the extent man is able to receive them. There might be a tendency to ridicule ancient or primitive belief systems by some people but I think that that is a mistake. As the human spirit evolves it may become better able to understand the higher concepts of spirituality when it could not do so when it was at a lower level of development.- AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Thu 6 Oct, 18:20
Thanks for your explanation of why the Medjugorje visions are unlikely to be the work of a single spirit. It makes sense to me.
I think what threw me was the term “group soul,” which I have trouble conceiving. It sounds like a bunch of souls who have gone through an ethereal blender and emerged as a blob of metaphysical dough.
But we have the testimony of many communicants from the other side that undeveloped spirits often congregate in environments that reflect the experiences and beliefs they had while embodied. I never thought about them re-grouping with co-religionists, but why not? And the more dogmatic might well try to continue preaching their brand of gospel through messages to living people open to them.
Like you, Amos, and Ian, I have trouble taking seriously “propaganda” messages from the hereafter. Along with weeping statues, stigmata, etc. they are paranormal, but spiritually dubious.
Rick Darby, Thu 6 Oct, 14:57
I think we are in complete agreement.
Thank you for the link. I forgot about the Egypt manifestations. They are equally mystifying, especially since the apparitions can be seen by many and photographed.
Michael Tymn, Thu 6 Oct, 05:45
I admit that my knowledge of the Medjugorje sightings is limited, but it seems to have a lot in common with the Fatima event and the three secrets, and like Amos, I too, have an almost visceral reaction to reading about these apparitions and the messages given, seeing as they seem almost like Christian propaganda instead of universal messages seen in NDE’s, deathbed visions, etc. This is especially apparent in the three secrets of Fatima, which includes references to God punishing the world for the crimes of prosecuting the Church, among other things, and runs counter to the overwhelming message that God is complete love, acceptance, and forgiveness, and never punishes us, instead letting us learn from our mistakes so that we may grow and become wiser (Also, the three secrets of Fatima apparently did little to change the course of history; is Mary trying again, only with ten secrets this time? If so, was God thwarted the last time around, complete with both Him and Mary saying, “Aw, nuts!”?).
The worldview of the NDE, Mediumship, and Deathbed visions portrays our existence as one of learning, growth, and improving our ability to love, be compassionate, and forgiving. The messages of Fatima and Medjugorje, by comparison, portrays our existence as the traditional “Accept Jesus as your savior or burn in hell forever” view that drives so many people away from religious faith these days, and seems - to me - primitive in comparison to what other spirit sources have to say.
What, then, is the truth behind all this? Considering how many many people have seen these apparitions, it seems apparent that something spiritual is indeed going on here. Perhaps it goes back to the idea that everyone on Earth is at a certain level of spiritual development with different needs. One group can benefit from the structures of religion while another will gain nothing. Perhaps the Fatima and Medjugorje events are meant for a certain group of people who, without following the teachings of a certain religion, would falter or backslide in their growth. If they are particularly violent or otherwise unreachable by messages of mercy and forgiveness, perhaps the only way to get them to pay attention is to have them believe that God is angry and that their souls are in big trouble.
I think, in the end, Fatima and Medjugorje are probably the result of a group fo spiritual beings who are trying to help a certain group of people. The messages they give may seen like nonsense, or even childish to others, but if they help bring more people towards God, compassion, and forgiveness, then maybe it is for the best. Like those people, perhaps the best thing we can do is to ask Spirit to guide them to their highest good, and guide us to our highest good as well, so that we can all work to make our world more peaceful and Heaven-like.
Ian, Thu 6 Oct, 04:32
This blog article reminded me of the Apparition of Zeitun in Egypt (1968-70), in which up to half a million people claimed to witness Mary hovering on top of the Coptic church there for hours at a time, regardless of their own religious background.
Keith P in England, Wed 5 Oct, 11:53
There are photographs of this event in these two Youtube videos, and there are others available.
Amos, Wayne, and Claudio,
I think I read somewhere that Mirjana does some kind of automatic writing of the message after the apparition, although that aspect was not entirely clear to me. It does seem that after 35 years the messages would become very redundant, especially for those receiving daily messages.
One reason that Mirjana gets her apparitions separately is that she does not live in Medjugorje. She lives in Sarajevo. I think she returns to Medjugorje once a month, but I have not seen any explanation as to why her meetings with the Blessed Mother are separate on the days she does return.
I just read the Kindle version of the book about Vicka. What really turned me off there was her report that she was given a tour of heaven, purgatory, and hell. In hell she saw devils and humans with horns and tails. Purgatory seems to have matched the traditional Catholic belief of people in suffering rather than Summerland and the “many realms” of the spiritualist.
As for the 10 secrets, I gather that they are intended to offer the “proof” that the world wants and will be cross-correspondences of sorts in that the six visionaries have supposedly never compared their lists. However, as you suggest, the Fatima secrets were not earthshaking, as I recall.
Wayne, thanks for reminding me of the Andrew Jackson Davis material on the subject, and thanks to Claudio for pointing out what Bruce Moen had to say.
Michael Tymn, Tue 4 Oct, 18:37
Hello, Michael, thanks for this article. I too left the RCC 50 years ago in my quest to find better explanations concerning what’s real. I think the “Mary” phenomena as the work of a “group” on the other side holds a lot of possibility. Andrew Jackson Davis, one of the most famous Spiritualist teachers of the 19th century and, apparently, sometimes-counselor to Abraham Lincoln, in his “Death And The Afterlife,” writes of his visions of Summerland and reports of vast numbers of “Brotherhoods,” representing all of the religions of our modern world plus those of ancient times, as well! These fraternal organizations maintain cherished philosophies of members now living in Etheria. Jackson speaks of the need for these immature ones to outgrow such Earth-attached, provincial concepts, which separation must occur before one might advance to higher worlds. However, in the meantime, many of these “Brotherhoods” are just as jealous of protecting turf and territory as they were in this life. Little doubt that the reporters of the “Mary” phenomena are sincere individuals, but people can be sincerely wrong; rather, burdened with an incomplete view, awaiting further light.
wayne becker, Tue 4 Oct, 15:15
Thanks for this information. I knew nothing about Medjogorje.
After each of these monthly “apparitions” is there a debriefing? Does Mirjana quickly document what was said to her by the vision? I know little to nothing about Fatima and Medjugorje but I don’t understand why there is a need for secrecy concerning the predictions from these visions. What is the point of Mary giving the predictions if no-one except Mirjana or the Pope knows about them?
The Medjugorje accounts seem to me to be copy-cat reports very similar to the Fatima reports, a kind of competition between small-town rural European Catholics. It is interesting that the Virgin Mary arranges her schedule to meet with Mirjana every month and on the birthday of Mirjana and that everyone has to go to the location where a statue of Mary has been erected, looking reverently up at it. I can’t fathom that spirits, whoever they are—- but especially the mother of Jesus, if separate from the percipient would be available at the beck-and-call of any human for years on end on a given monthly date with crowds of people present for the spectacle. (Surely Mary, after 2,000+ years would have moved up to higher spiritual realms.)
It seems more likely to me, that if these ‘visions’ are real that instead of Mary participating in them they are populated by spirits of the ‘group soul’ as you suggested similar to the Imperator group but I am sorry to say that I really believe and have to say that these visions are probably a figment of the imagination of Mirjana. I don’t like the whole thing because it seems to me that it is just a fulfillment of a need by some people to feel that they are protected by some deity, or pseudo-deity. That they are chosen, that they are special in that they are selected by the ‘mother of God’ to receive messages from on high.
I am, like you, very skeptical about the Medjugorje reports. Actually I have a kind of visceral disgust when I read things such as this. I think they detract from evidential reports of real paranormal activity. - AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 4 Oct, 13:47
Thanks for your comment, but as a matter of clarification, it is my understanding that all six of the visionaries are still receiving regular messages, not just Mirjana. Vicka, Ivan, and Marija are said to still receive daily messages, or at least that was the case when the book about Vicka (“Vicka, Her Story”) was published a few years ago. Mirjana receives them only once a month and on her birthday.
There apparently have been a number of healings associated with the six visionaries, but I am not familiar with the details. Also, in addition to the “visionaries,” some clairvoyants have supposedly seen the apparitions.
I remain very skeptical, but I really doubt that there is intentional deception going on here. There have been many more studies of the six than indicated in this blog. They’ve been hooked up to all kinds of monitors and machines and subjected to various psychological testing, and the researchers all seem to rule out fraud, at least the ones I’ve heard about. However, I haven’t dug that deeply into it and there may be reports otherwise that I haven’t heard about.
Michael Tymn, Tue 4 Oct, 04:42
No Rick, even a not-so-good actress can maintain a character for more than 6 minutes. Most plays and operas are an hour and a half to two hours during which time good actors remain in character. Consider the Shakespeare monologues and soliloquies. Consider one-man shows, for example Mark Twain impersonators entertain the audience for a hour or more while staying in character.
Just what is the evidence in this case. I don’t think there is any. All that is known are comments from 6 children and now, one who has grown to adulthood; who has written one or more books and apparently has them for sale to tourists; who has gained a lot of local notoriety and who hopes to entice more tourists to the area. I am not impressed! Compared to other examples of paranormal phenomena for which evidence is available, this case provides nothing.
Mike Tymn’s explanation of ‘group soul’ is as good as any and better than most. I understand ‘group soul’ as Mike uses it here to be a community of like-minded spirits in ‘Summerland’ who are still enmeshed in their belief systems and perhaps in an evangelistic way need to interact with embodied spirits to promote their beliefs and win converts. Even so, there is no evidence of communication with anyone other than Mirjana now. There are no psychic phenomena, no voices, no lights, no levitation, no apparitions, no verified information provided, no automatic writing, no aports, no translocation etc. Maybe Mirjana is a medium who hears spirits speaking to her in her head. Maybe she does see visions that no one else sees but to be honest the Catholic religiosity turns me off. If Mirjana were seeing anyone other than the Virgin Mary, my guess is that the local Catholic clergy who seem to be supporting Mirjana would be nowhere to be seen and might be more likely to condemn the reported contact with spirits by these children. I think we can move on here.- AOD
Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 4 Oct, 01:17
Mike,your is a very good explanation, these messages come from a “hollow heaven” as depicted by Bruce Moen’s explorations.
Claudio, Mon 3 Oct, 20:30
He says that NDEr’s encounters high Spirits in disguise that can appear as the holy character the NDEr believes in.
I did consider an individual spirit, but, even though time has a different meaning in that realm, 35 years seemed like too long for the spirit to be
“playing games” with the visionaries. Or you’d think that more benevolent spirits would have put a stop to it by now. But, it could be. Again, we have the problem of assuming that celestial beings think the same way as we do and that time is the same.
I just noted that the Mirjana’s monthly meeting with the Blessed Mother was yesterday, October 2, and it is already on you-tube, at http://apparitionhill.org/mirjana-soldo/
Michael Tymn, Mon 3 Oct, 19:26
Also, the movie, “Apparition Hill” is now in U.S. theaters.
In the YouTube video, it is clear that Mirjana is seeing something that moves her deeply. There is even a tear in her right eye during the extreme close-up. Interestingly, at 5:35 she seems to see or hear something disturbing, but a few seconds later she appears relieved—a detail that someone putting on an act would be unlikely to include. Unless Mirjana is a superlative actress, it would be impossible to keep up a pretense like this for six minutes.
But that her experience is genuine tells us nothing about its nature. People do see hallucinations in some cases of injury or illness, although Mirjana shows no signs of dysfunction. Even otherwise normal subjects can be given a post-hypnotic suggestion that there is an object in the room after they awaken from the trance, and will act as if it’s there, even avoiding it while they walk around.
I was under the impression that many people have seen the apparition, not only six chosen viewers.
The phenomenon could be similar to the spirits that some clairvoyants see. A spirit who wanted to impress devout Catholics might identify itself as the Virgin Mary to be taken more seriously by the percipient and others. The motive could be to inspire the vision receivers with spiritually uplifting messages ... or to have some fun at the expense of miracle seekers.
What about the phenomenon leads you to think the source is a group soul, rather than an individual spirit?
Rick Darby, Mon 3 Oct, 17:53
Mike a very thoughtful analysis as always.
Wendy Zammit, Mon 3 Oct, 10:03
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