Medjugorje, November 9, 2009
Medjugorje Visionary Ivanka’s Testimony
I am a little bit nervous. I wish you a very warm welcome, and I am so glad to be here with you today. I am greeting you all with the most beautiful greeting: “Praised be Jesus and Mary.” You see, here I am standing before all of you, and every day I have been asking myself the same question, “God, why did you choose me?” I have been given, by God, this great, great gift, but at the same time, I know that I carry a great responsibility. I have this great responsibility before all of you and before God…I am asking Him everyday to give me the strength so that I am able to take this path that He has prepared for me, so that I am able to witness for Him as He wants me to do.
In 1981, my life completely changed. I hadn’t dreamt then that something like that could happen in my life. I hadn’t dreamt that I would see. In 1981, I lived with my family in Mostar. I use to come to Medjugorje only during the holidays. In April of that year, the worst thing that could have happen to me, I really cannot explain how terrible that was, my mom passed away. All my world fell apart. When we came to the funeral here, that was the first time I met Fr. Jozo Zovko. Then we went back to Mostar and life continued. After the school year was over, we came back to Medjugorje.
On the Feast of St. John the Baptist, on the 24th of June – and you see, whenever we have a big feast day, it is a custom that we do not work. The only thing we did that day was we went to church for Mass, then lunch and then rest, and that was it.
Mirjana and I went out for a walk outside the village, and we were waiting for other kids to join us. Mirjana lived, at that time, in Sarajevo. As girls 15-years-old, we were talking about ordinary things. We got tired of waiting, so we started walking back towards the houses. While we were walking back, I felt called to look towards the hill. I looked towards the hill, and I saw Our Lady. I pushed Mirjana and told her, “Look, there is the Gospa, Our Lady on the hill.” Mirjana didn’t even bother to look over at the hill, and she told me, “Don’t tell me this foolish stuff.” I kept my mouth shut, and we continued on our walk. When we reached the first houses, we met Milka, Marija, the visionary’s, sister. She was going to gather the sheep. The moment she saw me, Milka asked me, “Ivanka, what happened to you, look at what you look like.” Walking back together with Milka and Mirjana, I told them what I saw. We came back to that very place and all three of us saw Our Lady. Our Lady was nearly 400 or 500 meters away from us. She was waving with Her hands to come to Her. At that moment, I felt all emotions in my heart, all of them were mixed. In the meantime, Vicka was walking by, and she saw that something was going on with us. She asked us what happened. We told her hurry up, we see Our Lady. When we said this, Vicka took off her sandals and she ran towards the houses. Then she met two boys, two Ivans, and she told them what we shared with her. She came back with them. And you see, even with them here now, in bigger number, we didn’t dare to go towards the hill. Fear conquered everything and we started back to the houses.
I cannot tell you how much time we spent at the foot of the hill. You see, some of us went back to the houses, but also a few of us entered into the first house on the road where people were having the feast day. We were crying. We were scared. We ran into that first house and we said, “We saw the Blessed Mother.” I recall that there were apples set on the table, and those people picked up the apples and they started throwing them at us. They told us “Do not play games with Our Lady, and please do not tell to anybody what you have told to us. People will think you are crazy. Run away home.” That is what they told us. When I came back home, I shared my experience with my brother, sister, and granny. So for my brother and my sister, it didn’t matter what I said, they were making jokes about me. Granny told me, “My dear child, this is not possible. I’m sure somebody was gathering the sheep on the hill.”
Before that, I had never heard about any apparition sites. I didn’t know about Lourdes or Fatima. I tell you, that was the longest night in my life. All night long I was questioning myself, and I was asking myself whether I really saw Our Lady because all of them were telling me the apparitions were no possible. But you see, the same evening the word spread among the village of what we saw, and the next day people started coming from all over That afternoon, six of us visionaries were at the foot of the hill. I can recall pretty well my granny held my hand, and she said whatever you see up there, you are not going. Then we saw the light three times. We started running up the hill. We were so fast that nobody was able to catch up with us. When we came to Our Lady, I can tell you my eyes have never seen anything so beautiful than She is. She looks very young, maybe 19-20. She always has a gray dress, white veil, and a crown of stars, blue eyes, black hair, and She always floats on a cloud. But you see – that is love – that is peace…I cannot describe to you because the human dictionary is too poor to describe your feelings. The moment we came to Her, I knew this was the Blessed Mother. God gave me this gift, that I was the first one who saw Her and the first one who talked to Her. The first words I spoke were, “Our Lady, where is my mom?” And She smiled back to me and She said, “your mom is with me.” Our Lady looked over the six of us, and She told us not to be afraid, that She was going to be with us all the time. In the meantime, people came to us, and they saw that something was going on with us, that something was really happening. So the next day when we were about to leave for Apparition Hill, we were advised by our elders to carry Holy Water with us so that we can bless what we saw. When Our Lady came to us, Vicka was the one who sprinkled the Holy Water. Vicka told Her, if you come from God, stay with us. If you do not come from God, please leave. Our Lady smiled back to us and She said, “I am the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace.” The first message Our Lady gave to all of us was the message of peace. After that, Our Lady invited us to prayer, conversion, penance, and fasting. So from the very beginning until today, these are the most important messages of Medjugorje.
After that, as Our Lady told us not to be afraid of anything, then the problems started because most of the problems came from the police, the authorities, and the priests. You see, when Fr. Jozo saw me, that I was one of the visionaries, he said, “This is not possible. This is not true.” He said this is only a longing for my mother who I lost a couple of months before. As the days were passing by, every morning, every afternoon, we had all kinds of questions from doctors, psychiatrists, priests, everyone. And you see, the first day Our Lady told us not to be afraid of anything. And this is the thing She keeps telling to all of us, and I believe we couldn’t stand anything without the support of our Mother.
From 1981 to 1985, I received the apparitions of Our Lady daily. Through these years, Our Lady told me Her biography which I wrote down. She also told me the future of the Church and the future of the world. Everything is written down and when Our Lady tells me to whom and when to give it, I will do so.
On the 7th of May, 1985, was my last daily apparition. That was the longest apparition I had because it lasted almost one hour. On that day, I was given the tenth secret, and I was told I was not going to have the daily apparitions anymore, but that I would have an annual apparition. So from 1985 until today, I have an annual apparition, which is on the 25th of June. On that last daily apparition in May of 1985, Our Lady gave me this great gift, but not only a gift for me but for the entire world. Because all the people who wonder if there is a life after death, I am standing here today before all of you to give witness that there is a life after this life. Because on that day, I saw my late mother the same way I see you today. My mom gave me a hug, and she told me, “My dear child, I am proud of you.”
To see for 28 years that Heaven has been opened. That Heaven is showing us the path we are to take in our lives. All of us have to decide and be willing to accept this way or not. And this way, Our Lady is showing us, is the way of conversion, of prayer, of penance, and fasting. At the very beginning of the apparitions, Our Lady invited us to pray on a daily basis the 7 Our Fathers, Hail Marys, and Glory Be’s. And after that She invited us to fast one day a week on bread and water, etc. And you see, when I think about those days, I feel like Our Lady was teaching us how to take the steps forward, as when a little child leans how to walk or climb the stairs. So Our Lady was working very slowly with all of us. And Our Lady told us with prayer and fasting, you can reach every goal; you can even stop wars; you can stop diseases; you can reach every goal.
Each one of us visionaries has a different mission and my mission is to pray for families. And Our Lady calls all of us to respect the sacrament of Holy Matrimony. She invites us all to go every Sunday to church for Mass. She invites us all to go at least to Confession monthly. She invites us all to renew the family prayer, and the Bible should be in the center of our families. When we read the messages of Our Lady, I can tell you that Our Lady hasn’t said anything new. Everything has already been written and said in the Bible. Our Lady has such an enormous love towards all of us, that She keeps holding everyday each of us. Every day I pray for all families in the world. At the same time, I am kindly asking all of you to pray for our families as well. Now do you have any questions?
Question: What does Our Lady say about the Holy Mass?
Ivanka: Our Lady says that Holy Mass is a meeting with the Living Jesus Christ. God gave us priests and our priests have the hands of Jesus Christ. With those hands, they deliver or transmit the love of Jesus to all of us. That is why, let us pray every day for our priests, that they are holy, they lead us, and they show us the love of the One Who is really important.
Question: Are the Ten Secrets concerning the world or personal ones?
Ivanka: The secrets are secrets. From those ten secrets, all six of us visionaries agree that the third secret is the permanent sign Our Lady is going to leave on the site of the first apparition. We have never spoken about other secrets, so I don’t know if the other visionaries have my same secrets or not. All the messages Our Lady gave to me are the messages for the world. She has never given me any personal messages, all the messages are the messages for the world. Many people think that I am closer to God or to Our Lady, but I only say, I am the same way all of you are. It is beautiful to see with your eyes. But you see, if I only see with my eyes, but my heart is closed, that means that I left that apparition as if it didn’t happen at all. As all of you have to pray, I have to pray as well. You see, my responsibility is just greater than yours because I have responsibility toward God and I have responsibility before all of you. That is why, please pray for all of us here. Thank you.
Question: Did Our Lady speak of Purgatory and did you have a glimpse of it.?
Ivanka: I saw Purgatory, but my experience was different than Vicka’s and Jakov’s. To me, it was shown as a film. The only thing I saw was darkness and I heard the prayer. Our Lady told us that we can help the souls in Purgatory with our prayers.
Question: What about the secrets?
Ivanka: When the time comes, we will know everything. The only thing we are to do is open our hearts and we place our lives into the hands of Our Lady and She will lead us the right way. Do not have fear because Our Lady is always with us.
Question: Do you miss not seeing Our Lady every day?
Ivanka: You see, when I pray every day, I feel Her presence in my heart. I am sure at this very moment, Our Lady is standing next to me and next to you all as well. Just let Her into your hearts. Just let Her into your families. Let Her get into your countries. Then we are going to have Heaven on earth. Just let Her enter into your hearts. Thank you.
Question: Do you hear Our Lady’s words or does She just come to you?
Ivanka: Many people ask me how do I prepare myself for that day of my annual apparition. I have to tell you, starting after the 25th of June apparition, every single day I prepare myself for that meeting with Our Lady. Every minute of my life, I prepare myself for the next apparition. When I get close to that day of my annual apparition, it seems to me that time stops. Every second seems like it is one year long. During that annual apparition, I am the only one who is present and my family as well. We pray the Rosary together. Then I see the light three times. Everything disappears. I cannot hear or see anything but Our Lady. When I see Her, I see Her in the same way that I see all of you today. My children always tell me, “Mom, why are you opening your mouth? Why don’t you speak?” because they cannot hear me. My experience is that I talk the same way as I talk to you, but I don’t know why the rest of them, why nobody else can hear me. I see Her and I talk to Her and She talks to me the same way I am talking to you right now. I hear the words. I don’t know what happens but nothing around me is visible or heard. Everything disappears. And, of course, I have lots of questions myself. What happens to me? Why I can see and you cannot see? Why can I hear Her and nobody else can? I do not know what happens to me. I have accepted what has happened to me. I also tell Her, “You have brought me so far, please lead me in the future as well.”
Question: Does Our Lady look like the painting behind you?
Ivanka: You see the color of Our Lady’s dress in the painting is gray, but it is not this gray color. I always pray, “God, give this gift to the entire world, just to see Our Lady for one-tenth of a second, so that they can feel that enormous love Our Lady has for every one of us. I cannot describe or picture for you that beauty, that love because my human dictionary is too poor to describe that love that radiates out of Her.
Question from a priest: I came here in the year 2000 to disprove this. What a wonderful job I did. I got to meet you. I got to ask you questions. I had changed your answers that you had once given from an interview to get you to agree and you wouldn’t. You corrected all my lies, etc. Thank you!
Question: Were you a priest, Father, when you came in 2000?
Father: No, I wasn’t.
Ivanka: I chose family life. I was thinking for all these years that this is my mission, to have a family life, but also my family has a responsibility to be an example to all other people in the world. And you can see, I haven’t spoken to the groups. I heard many people making comments, saying that I was selfish and all of that, but you see, I let my heart lead me. So you see, when I am standing before you, the words I am telling , I can tell you that Our Lady is leading me at this moment, that She has Her finger on me right now, that She is telling me what to tell you. Please, please pray for all of us. I promise we are going to pray for all of you. Thank you for your desire to hear the messages of Our Lady. I am going to thank you even more if you carry Our Lady back to your homes, if you carry Her in your hearts and be witnesses of Her Love. Medjugorje is not just the little village where we are right now. You can take and help Medjugorje wherever you live this message – wherever you carry the message of Our Lady. Thank you.