“She [Our Lady] has come here to Medjugorje to call all people on earth to Her Son, Jesus, to His ways, for the last time.” 1 – Ivanka
Ivanka is the youngest of the girl visionaries. Born on June 21, 1966, she was 15 years old when the apparitions began. Her father was away, working in Germany. Ivanka’s mother had died in May 1981, a month before the apparitions began. On June 24th, Ivanka was the first to see Our Lady. She was also the first to speak to Her, which happened on the following day, when Ivanka asked about her mother, for whom she was still greatly grieving. Our Lady responded by saying:
Ivanka was described as pretty, with a serene but shy countenance. She was the second visionary, after Mirjana, to receive her 10th secret, signifying the end of her daily apparitions. On May 6, 1985, Ivanka remained in ecstasy, while the apparition of the other three visionaries with her ended sooner. They were astounded to see Ivanka’s expression, realizing she was still seeing Our Lady. None of the visionaries had ever seen each other in ecstasy before. They watched in wonder, with all those present, until Ivanka’s eyes drifted upward, signifying the end of her apparition. They all learned afterwards, much to Ivanka’s grief, that the next day would be Our Lady’s last daily meeting with her. On May 7, 1985 Our Lady appeared with two angels in Ivanka’s home. On that day, Our Lady told Ivanka that:
In this last apparition, Our Lady asked Ivanka if she had a wish. Ivanka replied she would like to see her mother. This has been a request Our Lady has fulfilled for Ivanka on four separate occasions over the years. When Ivanka describes her favorite of these special visits, tears spring to her eyes as she remembers the joy of that moment.
“The third time was so happy. I had completed a difficult assignment for the Blessed Mother. As a reward, She brought my mother to me. I had seen her two other times, but the third time she came over to me, and embraced me and said, ‘Dearest Ivanka, I’m so proud of you!’ 2
Early descriptions of Ivanka described her as superficial, like a typical teenager, but more so than the other visionaries. Many years later, Ivanka herself admitted to having thought a great deal about fashion. “Before the Blessed Mother began to appear to me, I thought of it often. As my prayer life grew, following fashion became boring.” 3 Our Lady confirmed that Ivanka had matured in the spiritual life and that She was pleased by her efforts. Our Lady spoke these words to Ivanka the day of her final daily apparition (May 7, 1985):
As She did with Mirjana and Jakov, Our Lady gave to Ivanka a gift that would help to sustain her in this life after her daily apparitions ceased. She would be able to see Our Lady once a year, on the anniversary of the apparitions, June 25th, for the rest of her life.
Ivanka married Raiko Elez on December 28, 1986, the Feast of the Holy Family. She was the first visionary to marry. There were many who expected all the visionaries to enter the religious life. And yet, Our Lady had made it very clear to all of them that they had freedom in deciding their vocations. Now that all the visionaries have married, it would appear that the world is in need of witnesses to holy family life. Today, Raiko and Ivanka have three children.
With the Love of Our Lady,
1. The Visions of the Children, by Jan Connell