Comprehending Medjugorje : Original Documents And Conversations with Arnaud Dumouch
Reference (French Edition) :
Daria Klanac, Comprendre Medjugorje : Regard historique et théologique, avec la collaboration du théologien Arnaud Dumouch, Informativni centar Mir, Medjugorje, en coédition avec les Éditions Sakramento, Paris, 2012, 2e éd. (1re éd. 2008, ISBN 978-2-915380-19-4 & 978-9958-36017-6), chapitre iv, pages 31 à 42.
English Translation by Duško Čondić
“with staff in hand’ I stopped by
the “stream” in Medjugorje to take some “stones’
that looked like precious gems.
I remove them from my “shepherd’s bag”
to gift them to History.
The interrogations on the first days of the apparitions in Medjugorje are an extremely important source of information. No known apparition possess such an archive. The pastor, Fra Jozo Zovko, disturbed by all that was occurring three days after the apparition, and just having come back from Zagreb [Croatia], set himself to work immediately. His assistant, Fra Zrinko Čuvalo, carried out the first conversations: he called the children to the parish office and questioned them one by one. The conversations were spontaneous, often clumsy, and without planning or forethought. Easily, though quite disconnectedly, they jumped from theme to theme. Fra Jozo improvises, and begins to ask questions that he thinks are important. He wishes the children to grasp the seriousness of their answers. Re-listening to those conversations is of great importance for one to have a better understanding of the apparitions in Medjugorje. In this book, I make available a transcription of the conversations with Jakov Čolo, along with a CD of the actual conversations.
Herein are some of the most important statements made by the visionaries taken from those conversations. I do not analzye them; rather, I offer their words so that the reader can experience and discover their authenticity.
Description of the Virgin [The Gospa]
Her voice: melodious as though she was singing, beautiful, gentle
Selection of the children
Something powerful draws them to the hill
Satan or the Gospa?
The visionaries are convinced they see the Virgin
Description of the Virgin [The Gospa] ↑
The visionaries marvel at such supernatural beauty. The more they gaze at her, the more attracted to her they become. “How beautiful she is!” exclaimed Jakov. It cannot be described. Questioned separately, they were as one in their description of her beauty.
Jakov: The eyes of the Gospa are light blue and her kerchief on her head was white, and beneath was a grey garment. Her feet could not be seen because of her garment, since the garment was long.
Mirjana: But she had a wide grey garment on her and that whitish shawl like this… (The 27th of June, 1981). She always has that long veil, it falls down to the ground… She has black hair like this, like this, a bit curly, she has blue eyes. Really magnificent: you would want to look at her only (The 28th of June, 1981).
Ivanka: Her garment was grey, a white veil and a crown of stars… nineteen or twenty-one years old. Blue eyes. Small curls fell and like her, they fell. (The 26th of June, 1981).
Marija: First of all I saw the shape of her face and that red like here. She had a white veil and that garment below. Like it was grey, but not grey. More like the color of coffee, yet not like that either (The 28th of June, 1981).
Vicka: Like this, when we look she is about like this when she hovers above us in the air. She has a grey garment on her, blue eyes, white veil. And she is beautiful—I wouldn’t give her more than twenty years old. Really, she is young (The 28th of June, 1981).
Ivan: A longish face like this, very lovely. Boy!, a maiden, rosy-cheeked like this, very lovely. A bit taller than Mirjana. (The 28th of June, 1981).
Her voice: melodious as though she was singing, beautiful, gentle ↑
Jakov: When she talks to us just like she is singing. As though she is singing when she talks to us. She speaks beautifully.
Marija: Never, never [did I hear such a voice] Soft, like she was singing. (The 28th of June, 1981).
Ivanka: Like she was singing (The 30th of June, 1981).
Her name ↑
At the request of the children, the manifestation reveals who she is. She represents herself as: The Blessed Virgin Mary. Later, she will evidence herself under the title Queen of Peace. Without hesitancy, the children are in agreement as to her identity. They are speaking of the same person.
Mirjana: We asked her how she is called. She said to us: “The Blessed Virgin Mary”(The 28th of June, 1981).
Jakov: And she said that she was the Blessed Virgin Mary (The 28th of June, 1981).
Fra Jozo: And you don’t know what her name is?
Ivanka: I don’t know, we asked her.
Fra Jozo: And what did she say?
Ivanka: The Blessed Virgin Mary (The 28th of June, 1981).
Vicka: We asked. In fact Mirjana asked: “What is your name?” She said: “I am the Blessed Virgin Mary” (The 28th of June, 1981).
The message ↑
From the very beginning, the messages of firm faith, peace, and reconciliation are stressed.
Jakov: “Gospe, Gospe, why are we gathered here?” She said: “So that we can all be in peace.” And she said to us, they, “Many good believers are found here.” And she said to us that we should all be in peace; she said that all should reconcile (The 27th of June, 1981).
Mirjana: We asked her why she is coming here by us; what she wants? She said: “… so that we could all be together, since we are all believers.” She only said: “Blessed are those that did not see but believe.” “Let them believe as though they see me.” (The 27th of June, 1981).
Ivanka: She only said: “There is only one faith and one God, only one Spirit, and one faith.” She said the people should believe firmly.
Marija: “She said to us: “Make peace among the people.” I took that to mean, for example, a neighbor with his neighbor, and the same in the village. (The 30th of June, 1981).
Vicka: “Those that do not see let them believe firmly as though they see.” For the priests: She said that they should be firm in their faith and that they should not surrender their faith to anyone. (The 28th of June, 1981).
It is no longer the same. The visionaries wish to be better, to do good works, to pray more, and with more zeal. Mirjana’s description of Ivan’s behavior could just as easily apply to all six: “You know what: when Ivan remained behind yesterday, he said that he heard how some voice said that he must believe in God more, that he must go to church every Sunday, strengthen his faith, and pray regularly.” (The 30th of June, 1981).
Mirjana: “I don’t know, I saw her, but, you know, prayer is some how different… More resolute somehow. (The 27th of June, 1981). “It is more strong somehow… I chat with her in the evening” (The 28th of June, 1981). We cannot only demand a miracle from her, we must pray. (The 30th of June, 1981.)
Ivanka: We asked her what should we pray… what does she like… that we pray or that we sing? She said to pray and to sing. (The 28th Of June, 1981).
Fra Jozo: I know, but say… like you would in your soul… what does she say to you?
Ivan: Not to offend God… to pray… that I should pray to God. (The 28th of June, 1981).
Fra Jozo: Now tell me this, did you pray anything special last night… let us say… alone, did you thank God for this… the Gospa… and the like?
Marija: Yes. I prayed the Gospa’s rosary… And I prayed the Gospa’s prayer, the seven OurFathers, seven Hail Marys, seven Glory be to the Fathers and the creed… I prayed a lot of Our Fathers before I fell asleep.
The apparitions began with the sign of light. The first day, a shining manifestation shown at the foot of Mount Crnica. Subsequently, light is manifested three times prior to each apparition. The Gospa comes and goes in light.
The manifestation of light is not always associated with the apparition. Some attest to the fact that they saw unusual signs of light both at day and at night.
Herewith, I offer that which the visionaries have to say about the accompanying and regularly occurring manifestation of light at the time of the apparitions.
Jakov: It glowed three times when we saw her… three times it glowed… and then… all at once… the Gospa appeared above. We immediately ran up. This way… it glows… at first once, then the second time… and then the third time… (The 27th of June, 1981).
Mirjana: Then we saw the sky light up three times… and then I looked up at the hill and said: “There she is!” Just like this, she goes slowly, little by little she start to disappear and to climb upward and then the sky lit up… (The 27th of June, 1981). We all saw the light. First I saw the light… then I saw how she slowly descends, and then more clearly how she was coming down (The 28th of June, 1981).
Ivanka: She was shoving me: “There she is! There she is!” And I looked and the light really came… First little stars, light, and then, she, slowly. Each night the light first appears, then she does.
Marija: And little Jakov was with me. And a light appears. And I asked Jakov does he see it. “I see it!” When a second time--you know… and a third time the same way..when right after the light, is appears again a third time (The 28th of June, 1981).
Where the visionaries frightened as though they had seen a ghost? Where they afraid? What were their first spontaneous reactions? What precisely are they afraid of?
Jakov: No it won’t! No it won’t! Why would I be afraid? Just the first time I was a bit afraid. And now I’m not. (the 27th of June, 1981). Now I’m not afraid at all—you know—of nothing (The 27th of June, 1981).
Mirjana: Not that I got goose-bumps from fear, rather, somehow some sort of pleasantness… it give me happiness… a feeling of pleasantness. (The 27th of June, 1981). We aren’t anymore… no more fear at all. I am not so much afraid of the police, Just so they don’t take us to that hospital. That’s all that I’m afraid of. (The 30th of June, 1981).
Ivanka: I’m so afraid of that hospital. If I was there a bit more I would have croaked there (The 30th of June, 1981).
Fra Jozo: Did you feel any sort of fear [of the Gospa]?
Ivanka: None! Joy! Joy!. It pleased me (The 28th of June, 1981).
The first moments of fear turn to joy and happiness and into a blessed state of fullness. It is entirely pointless to speak of “great fear” since it is absent from their experience of that which they see.
Fra Jozo: And are you happy that you saw the Gospa?
Jakov: How could I not be happy!? (The 27th of June, 1981).
Mirjana: … only up there when we stand before her, then I would somehow want to cry from the sweetness of it. I only want to keep looking at her (The 28th of June, 1981).
Ivanka: To me, its so dear to see her. Reverend Father, as though I’m standing like this with you… and talking. Something dear! Something dear! I have no idea what. Like this—she keeps looking at the people—nobody sees her… and me… it’s so dear for me! (the 28th of June, 1981).
Fra Jozo: And how did you feel—tell me honestly… let’s say last night… concretely… after that apparition? Do you feel joy in your heart?
Marija: Wow! I can’t even describe it… great joy… great!… great!
The Cross ↑
After every apparition, the Gospa always evanesces under the sign of the glorious Cross. The third and fourth day, the visionaries saw the Cross behind the Virgin during the apparition. The third day, Marija was the first to see the Cross when the Virgin appeared to her alone. That vision is tied to the important message of peace and reconciliation. The following day, the rest of the visionaries assert that they, too, saw the Cross as did Marija the day before.
Jakov: … all at once, she disappeared above. Some sort of sign is crossing above… in the sky… it appeared (The 27th of June, 1981).
Marija: She is standing, and along side her is a Cross. Kind of big… and nothing on it… the same color as her garment (The 27th of June, 1981).
Fra Stojan: Was she carrying that Cross?
Ivanka: She did not… the cross was behind her… a big Cross… and like her garment, grey (The 28th of June, 1981). … we saw the Cross two times… that was the fourth [day]…
Marija: Yes!… I saw it… two meters, I think… large… and there is no crucifixion on it… only the Cross… and that color… the same as the garment… the same (The 28th of June, 1981).
Vicka: … like this… as though in a shadow the shape appeared to us… and she holds that big Cross and there is nothing on it… grey the same as her garment… like this… the Cross is behind her… like this… the Cross is above (The 28th of June, 1981).
Selection of the children ↑
Completely gratuitous, without any sort of merit, as a gift. From the very start, the visionaries experience that miraculous choice as a special gift and favor. They do so without any sort of self-importance.
Fra Stojan: And do you think that the six of you are better than the other children?
Ivanka: I don’t know that for sure (The 28th of June, 129812).
Fra Jozo: So, let us say, why did she appear to you, and not to her… do you think that you are better than her..let us say..or… ?
Mirjana: Ma!… of course not… really, I don’t know… such was the choice (The 30th of June, 1981).
The sign ↑
The visionaries are certain of, and firmly believe that the Gospa will leave a sign on Apparition Hill. They sought this from her on the very site as a credible proof of her appearance. The Virgin did not immediately respond to their request; rather she left them in a state of anticipation that proved to be prolonged. They ultimately received the secret as to the sign, and, subsequently came to understand that God’s time is not our time.
Jakov: I ask: “Gospe, leave some sort of sign so that the people believe.”
Fra Jozo: And what would you ask of her… do you have something special on your heart that you would say to her?
Mirjana: That she leave us some sign… so that the people believe us (The 27th of June, 1981). And Vida… exactly when she is asleep… and in her sleep says: “Leave us a sign… leave us some sort of sign!” Her cousin told us: “I didn’t sleep all night because of her.” (The 30th of June, 1981).
Ivanka: Naturally! I would prefer if she left some sort of sign so that everyone can see and that she appear to everyone. (The 28th of June, 1981). I am certain that one day a sign… certain of that… I am convinced of that… on that hill up there… that is for sure… (The 30th of June, 1981).
Something powerful draws them to the hill ↑
The hill irresistibly draws the visionaries to itself. Nothing can prevent them from being there when it is time for the apparitions. The urge is greater than any fear, or threat.
Ivanka: Something pulls me there… pulls me up there (The 28th of June, 1981). I am so afraid of that hospital! But, when the time arrives… about five-thirty… but I must go! Something pulls me there… I have to go… and all of us are like that… I have no idea what it is that draws me there… I have to go! (The 30th of June, 1981).
Ivan: If she didn’t come I would be disappointed… just to continue that path… to see her… just so I see her tomorrow… (The 28th of June, 1981.).
Jakov: To me… they… the desire to go up there draws me… Mama… I will go even if you kill me… you can kill me… I will go again. I will go to God up there… I’ll go to the Gospa up there… and that’s it…
Satan or the Gospa? ↑
Some still continue to raise this question and that Satan cloaked as the Virgin is appearing to the children. Yet, the visionaries insist that they have truly seen Her and do not doubt it. Their simplicity and sincerity of faith does not leave one indifferent.
Fra Jozo: It is known to have happened that Satan… the Devil..transforms himself… that he says: “I am Jesus,” or “I am the Gospa.” What do you think about that?
Ivanka: But the Devil would flee from prayer!
Fra Jozo: How? From what?
Ivanka: From prayer… from prayer… Vida took holy water up there… ”If you are the Gospa, remain… if you are not… go!”… and the Gospa remained. We all started to pray. (The 28th of June, 1981).
Fra Jozo: What do you think… lets say… that the Devil deceives you and that he, too, says… let us say… ”I am the Blessed Virgin Mary,”… what do you think about that… can that be?
Mirjana: I don’t believe that… it’s not that. We sprinkled her [with holy water]… the third night we sprinkled her.
The visionaries are convinced they see the Virgin ↑
All of the visionaries are firm and unshaken: they are certain that they see the Gospa. They are prepared to go to prison or even to death, and, if necessary, to give witness to that which they see, with their lives.
Fra Jozo: Did any one provoke you as to what to say?
Jakov: Not me, no one… why should any one provoke me… and I now say… I said: If I die right now I would not be sad… now that I saw the Gospa.
Fra Jozo: But when didn’t you see her?
Fra Jozo: The Gospa.
Jakov: I saw the Gospa!… as though she is before me!… here… just like you are!
Mirjana: At first I was somehow… at first while they did not believe… some how angry. Why don’t they believe us… they only mock us… and now… if you want… believe… if you don’t want to… don’t believe. I will say to everyone what it was that I saw… I’ll make it clear… beg him to believe if he wants to believe… if not… then I do nothing. I don’t want to make any one believe. If everyone were to see her then everyone would say: “there is a God.” All of them would believe. I can’t explain that… God can’t appear to everyone this minute. You have to believe… even if you don’t see Him.
Fra Jozo: Do you have fear of God? If you really don’t see… and tell the people that you do see?
Mirjana: But, we do see. I am not afraid… I wouldn’t be so fast to believe either, if I did not see. (The 28th of June, 1981).
Fra Jozo: You know… God heavily punishes those who mislead people.
Mirjana: What am I supposed to do… I see her… but they do not…
Fra Jozo: This is a big problem for me… you know? I know that those who always misled the people or falsely reported to them… that they were most heavily punished… Are you afraid of something like this?
Mirjana: I’m not… because we are not lying (The 30th of June, 1981).
Ivanka: I’m telling you… I saw her… so, believe it or not. But, that will be proved.
Fra Jozo: And,… let us say… if she doesn’t come tomorrow?… what do you think?
Ivanka: Ma!… that won’t happen… she would not deceive us ever… She will not deceive us… And that will be proved one day… (The 28th of June, 1981). I’m convinced of it… I see her… certainly… I would not believe if I did not see her.
Fra Jozo: It’s a serious matter… it’s serious to play with the faith… you know?
Ivanka: Ma!… I know! But since I see her, that can’t be… it is not a lie. I see her the same as I see you here.
Fra Jozo: Let’s say… if someone were to say to you ‘I’ll kill you’ if you say that you saw the Gospa, what would you do?
Ivanka: I would say… ’Go ahead and kill me!’
Fra Jozo: Really? You would actually be ready?
Ivanka: Yes… for sure.
Fra Jozo: Would you be sorry if they did kill you?
Ivanka: I would not… not at all… because I saw the Gospa.
Fra Jozo: And would you then gladly go to her?
Ivanka: I would… I know where she is now… and to fly to her (The 28th of June, 1981).
Fra Jozo: Will she come tomorrow?
Ivanka: She will. (The 28th of June, 1981).
Ivan: She will.
Vicka: But… since we are in the right… on the right path… we go also to prove something… that they can see that we are not lying… we know what we’re talking about…
Fra Jozo: But… let us say… if someone said… the police forbid it… you will go to jail… you may not speak..?
Vicka: I would still speak… let them take me to jail… Who cares… that’s nothing to me… I would go to jail. I would not be the only one… we would all go. (The 28th of June, 1981).
The youngest of the visionaries gives the best synopsis of that which they are experiencing. “The feeling is indescribable. Each apparition is like opening Heaven and entering into another world where everything is nice and beautiful. Each time is like the first, never before seen, never before experienced, especially her image, her voice, her words. The encounter can’t be described, it can’t be expressed in words.” (cf. Glas Mira [Voice of Peace] February, 1996.)