Apparition Hill overlooking the village of Medjugorje just before daybreak, just as Our Lady is leading the world to a new dawn. Think of it, well over 12,000 apparitions! Our Lady has been on the Earth everyday for over 28 years! All attention is on Her. Of man and of angels, She is the holiest creature that has ever existed. Marija once said even the angels in all the apparitions never, even for but a moment, will take their eyes off of Her. Holding on to time with Our Lady is one of the greatest moments of their state of being in accompanying Her to Earth. We are in a time of grace because of Her, the Woman of Revelation. It is She whose presence upon the Earth is leading it to holiness. Her blessing leaves Her fragrance upon the Earth to bring about the springtime all of Heaven awaits. “…I desire to renew prayer with you and to call you to fast which I desire to offer to my Son Jesus for the coming of a new time—a time of spring…the Church is being renewed in the Spirit…” October 25, 2000 (From “Twenty Years of Apparitions”by A Friend of Medjugorje)
Podbrdo is the name of the “hill” that Our Lady first appeared to the visionaries of Medjugorje. After the apparitions began, it became known as Apparition Hill. It is a steep and rock-strewn path that ascends to the actual location where Our Lady appeared. Tens of millions have climbed this mountain, pilgrims from all over the world, and they tell of experiences that are deeply personal, intimate and life changing through the encounters they have had in prayer with Our Lady, the Queen of Peace, on this barren mountainside. It was from Apparition Hill where Our Lady first began inviting the world, through the visionaries and the village of Medjugorje, to respond to Her call. There have been literally thousands of apparitions of Our Lady on this hill—apparitions that are reported to continue even to this day.
The Lasting Sign
A permanent, indestructible sign will be left on the side of this hill one day as a final proof to the world that these apparitions were from God. What a grace to have responded to Our Lady’s call to go to Medjugorje before the sign appears. Imagine being alive when the sign appears, and suddenly being hit by the realization that Our Lady had been appearing all these years but you were too busy or preoccupied to go there. Imagine the joy of finally climbing the hill where the Lasting Sign was left, but also the bitterness of knowing that you could have been present, walking this hill, during the time Our Lady was appearing, but you missed the time of grace. What is stopping you from going to Medjugorje today in the time of grace? Job, money, obligations? Submit whatever your reason of not being able to go to Our Lady and pray. With a heart disposed in such a matter of faith, She will overcome the reason and get you to Medjugorje. We have seen this happen repeatedly. Our Lady wants you in Medjugorje. Give Her your petition continuously and She will get you there.
Our Lady indicated early in the apparitions that God would one day place a “sign” upon Apparition Hill that would serve as proof to authenticate the apparitions. What has been called the “Lasting Sign” is actually the third out of ten secrets Our Lady gave to the visionaries. It will appear on Apparition Hill at the location of the first apparition. The “Lasting Sign” will be permanent, visible, and indestructible, and will remain until the end of time. All six of the visionaries have seen the sign in a vision and describe it as indescribably beautiful. Although Our Lady said that the sign would be given for non-believers, to help them to believe, She also said not to wait for the sign to convert because the sign will come too late for many people.
Before the sign appears, it will be preceded by two events, which will take place in the world. These two events are actually two of the secrets which will serve as warnings, that will profoundly shake people and call them to conversion. These events will be the last call to conversion in this time of grace.
The Wooden Cross
”Marija, walking down the hill, mysteriously was shown by Our Lady a cross, pointing to it saying,“Peace, peace, peace.” It is interesting to note that Our Lady said these words the third day, June 26, 1981, of the apparitions. Is it not strange that the violence of the cross, blood, torn flesh, a terrible atrocity is shown by Our Lady to represent peace? This important lesson teaches many things. When we struggle and are in the midst of turmoil, it is then that we turn to prayer the most, seeking peace. And so, it is these struggles that will give way to peace, just as Jesus’ cross brought us peace. Strange that peace can be experienced the greatest in the heart even when fire surrounds us.“
(From “Crisis-Discipline”by A Friend of Medjugorje)
The wooden cross, off to the left of the main path coming down Apparition Hill, marks the spot of an event that took place between Our Lady and the visionary Marija on June 26th, 1981.
Marija was ahead of the others coming down the hill after Our Lady had already appeared to the children further up the hill. She was proceeding downhill, on her way home. Suddenly, she was mysteriously pushed to the side by an unseen force, and immediately afterwards Our Lady appeared, with a bare wooden cross behind Her. Our Lady was in tears and Her voice full of sadness as She spoke this message: “Peace, peace, peace. Be reconciled! Only Peace. Make your peace with God and among yourselves. For that, it is necessary to believe, to pray, to fast, and to go to Confession.” Reconciliation is at the heart of Our Lady’s messages. Peace cannot be achieved without it. Our Lady brought this challenge to a region of the world in which people, for centuries, had not yet discovered the way to live in peace together. The call to peace and reconciliation was, however, a universal call to the whole world.
The Blue Cross is located at the base of Apparition Hill. It is on this site that Our Lady appeared to the visionaries when they were hiding from the communist police in the beginning days of the apparitions. A blue cross was erected to mark the spot of the apparitions, which led to the naming of the site, “Blue Cross.” Ivan and his prayer group have sometimes been meeting at the Blue Cross since the war in the early 1990’s and other times on the original apparition spot, higher above. The apparitions, during these meetings, drew thousands of pilgrims. It became impossible for Ivan and the prayer group to get near to the Blue Cross because of the amount of pilgrims. They would, instead, end up to the right of the cross. After years of apparitions of Our Lady on this spot, another Blue Cross was erected, to mark the actual location of the present apparitions. When you visit this site, you will see the two blue crosses. This area is traditionally a very quiet area, where the peace of Our Lady is powerfully felt, and where many find a place for quiet prayer and solitude. The apparitions, both at the Blue Cross and on the hill, continue to take place here when Ivan is in Medjugorje during the months between April and September, on Monday and Friday evenings.
Caritas pilgrims climb Apparition Mountain barefoot. The smooth rocks dotted among the normal rough, sharp stones of the region, testify to the millions of feet that have worn the rocks to a marble-like finish. The richest and the poorest of the world have climbed this hill, along with every type and class and religion of people, as well as non-believers. To know that your own feet have left their mark on the stones of this Holy Hill is to feel that all the prayers you once brought to Medjugorje are still lifting up from these stones to Our Lady when She visits the village each evening. It brings comfort and hope and a feeling that Medjugorje is home where your heart is always longing to return.
The word, “POZIV,” in Croatian means a “call”. Our Lady is thankful because we answer Her call. Her call is Her message. In other words,“Thank you for your readiness to live my messages…”. “POZIV” also means “invitation.” The translation of this sentence would then be:“Thank you for having responded to my invitation.”Here again, Our Lady’s invitation is Her message but it is also an invitation to come. The invitation to come is for the visionaries first.
They come everyday to the apparition, “Thank you for coming,”says Our Lady, “and thank you also for the pilgrims who come to Medjugorje, to the Church and to the hills.” This means it is important to come and this is why the Virgin Mary says, thank you, in each message.
“Thank you for coming to the spot of the apparitions.”Our Lady is happy to see people in Medjugorje. (From Words from Heaven by A Friend of Medjugorje )
JMJ Pilgrims has led over 95 powerful, life-impacting JMJ Pilgrimages to Medjugorje. Bob and Arlyss will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our pilgrimages to Medjugorje, a tremendous, but little-known corner of Bosnia and Herzegovina, for what is sure to be a profound spiritual experience - one that you will undoubtedly remember for a lifetime. Find out more about Pilgrimage Activities, the Medjugorje Experience, or the History of JMJ Pilgrims.