“Hell is the ultimate waste because no one needs to go there.” 1 – Jakov
Jakov, the youngest visionary, was only 10 years old when the apparitions began. His birthday is March 16, 1971. When he was eight years old, his father abandoned the family, of which he was the only child. He was left an orphan at the age of 12 when his mother died. After her death, he moved into the home of his uncle.
It is Jakov who steals the heart when looking at old pictures of the visionaries in ecstasy from the first years of the apparitions. For many, it is he who convinced them the apparitions were real, as any normal 10-year-old boy would consider it impossible to have to endure three hours of prayer, on their knees, every single night, year after year, without any break in the routine. If the apparitions had been a trick or a lie conceived by the so-called visionaries, young Jakov would have broke long ago—and yet, it is said of him that he was the most faithful in attendance to the evening prayer services than any other visionary.
To Vicka, who was with Jakov more than the other visionaries, she believed there was something special about Jakov in his relationship with Our Lady, though it was a mystery even to her. When asked by her confessor why Our Lady chose little Jakov, Vicka said:
“I can’t say that I know that. But none of you really know the little guy! I always remember how the Virgin at the very start said: ‘The rest of you go, and let little Jakov remain with me.’ That is an unusual boy.” 2
Today, Jakov is a quiet and thoughtful man. He married, at the age of 22, Annalisa Barozzi, a young woman from Mantova, Italy. They have three children and reside in Medjugorje. Though Jakov was given a great deal of suffering at an early age, especially in the loss of his mother, while coping with all the difficulties the apparitions had brought into his life, nothing prepared him for the announcement made to him by Our Lady on September 11, 1998. Jakov was in the United States at the time, in Miami, Florida, to speak at a conference. Our Lady appeared and told him that the next day would be his last apparition. On September 12th, Our Lady confided to him his 10th secret. In his deep sorrow, Our Lady gave to him a gift, telling him that She would appear to him on Christmas Day every year until the end of his life. On that day, not only does he see Our Lady, but he receives the added joy of being in the presence of the Infant Jesus. Perhaps this is a special consolation given to Her youngest visionary because of all he had suffered already in his life. But even so, for Jakov, who grew up with Our Lady and certainly felt Her more deeply as his Mother after he was left alone in the world, he was devastated. Long before his daily apparitions ended, when he was asked to speak of Heaven, “he said if he thought of Heaven too much, he would die of loneliness.” 3 What then must he suffer to no longer have the comfort of Our Lady’s apparitions each day? In time, Jakov began to learn how to experience Our Lady in his heart without the joy of Her apparition. He had a realization in prayer, after several months of struggle, that he was now like all other people, who must live their lives without seeing Our Lady. This apparently has helped give him the strength to endure his suffering. Remembering the last words of Our Lady to him that day (September 12, 1998) must also bring him much solace.
When asked about his future, Jakov says nothing. Out of the six visionaries, he is the only one who would not say whether he would be alive when the permanent sign comes. Vicka, Mirjana, Ivan, Marija and Ivanka all have said they will be alive. Concerning himself, Jakov says only that it is a secret.
With the Love of Our Lady,
Click on the links below to read talks or interviews given by Jakov:
1. The Visions of the Children, by Jan Connell
2. A Thousand Encounters With The Blessed Virgin Mary in Medjugorje, by Fr. Janko Bubalo
3. The Visions of the Children, by Jan Connell