PART TWO OF THIS SERIES presented Ivan Dragicevic, one of the three purported Medjugorje seers still receiving daily visits from a being whom the seers claim to be the Virgin Mary. In this part, we will consider two other seers still receiving daily visits to be followed by the other group of three who no longer receive daily visits in the fourth part.
Marija was born April 1st, 1965, in the village of Bijakovici, Medjugorje. Like Ivan and Vicka, Marija has received only nine of the secrets and thus still has daily apparitions. Through her, the Virgin Mary gives a message to the world on the 25th of every month. Like the others (except Vicka) Marija is married; she has four children. Like Ivan Dragicevic, she has dual residence; Marija and her husband, Paolo Lunetti, live in Monza, Italy situated in the Diocese of Milan; throughout the year they visit Bijakovići, the village where Marija was born in the parish of Medjugorje.
In 2010, Marija founded the Antares Association for the purpose of raising money for the construction and maintenance of a hotel facility named the “Magnificat”, which was built on her property in Bijakovici. Money can be wired to the “Antares Association” through Banca Prossima, located near her residence in Milan, Italy.
The Italian newspaper L’ Arena, carried an article about Marija and the Magnificat project in which it was stated that:
“With the support of trusted persons Marija founded the Antares association, recognized by the local government, through which she intends to support the building of the center of hospitality and spirituality. It was conceived as a large conference room, chapel and rooms for seminars, courses and retreats, and accommodation for up to 120 people, with a staff dedicated to the practical needs and the assistance of the pilgrims.”
Ignazio Ingrao, Vatican correspondent for the Italian weekly Panorama, was more direct in his report:
“Marija Pavlovic lives in Monza with her husband Paolo Lunetti and four sons, but in Medjugorje she opened the hotel Magnificat. Formally it is a “center of hospitality”, actually a four-star hotel with 54 elegantly furnished rooms, all with baths.
The “Magnificat” (in the photo, a view from above) was opened in June 2012.
In 2011 Marija hosted a fund raising event for the Magnificat Center that was recorded on video. The event MC begins the evening by stating (at 35 second mark)
“It’s a great feeling to be here tonight for this charity dinner: a convivial evening to raise funds for the building of a prayer center at Medjugorje. A prayer center born thanks to the inspiration of Marija herself. It’s a center that will host prayer groups, families, even individuals, who want to spend a week, a few days, a month, in the spirit, along with Our Lady” (translation according to Marco Corvaglia).
Then, at the 2:24 mark he pushed the “envelope”:
“At your place setting you’ll find an envelope. We’re giving the proceeds from the dinner to the charity, and then we’ll have a drawing, a very generous drawing with a surprise first prize. Then, with the envelope, anyone who wishes can make another offering, voluntarily, from the heart, there’s no obligation. If you’d like to make another offering for the center, you are free to do so.”
As was stated in Part Two, when exploring Ivan Dragicevic’s financial exploits, there is nothing wrong with holding a fundraising event hosted by a Catholic layman or woman for the purpose of funding his or her own charitable project. The problem here, however, is not so simple. In this case the project and its funding are directly related to the Medjugorje events and generate profits from them in violation of Article C of the “Negative Criteria” developed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) for evaluating the authenticity of apparitions.
According to Article C, investigators are to look for “Evidence of a search for profit or gain strictly connected to the fact.”
That is, financial gain in itself is licit; however, if it is connected to the “fact” (the apparition itself) it is to be interpreted in a negative light as evidence speaking against the validity of the apparitions having a supernatural origin in God. In the brochure below, the hotel Magnificat is advertised with a statement that associates it directly with the seer and to the “fact”.
The “Magnificat”, as presented by the Italian travel agency, Rusconi Viaggi. On the right in bold it states that “Marija Pavlovic still has daily appearances and often will be present in the center to give her testimony.”
Thus, the pastoral letter prohibiting donations in support of projects supported by the seers given on June 16, 2011 by Msgr. Giuseppe Versaldi, Bishop of Alessandria in the of Arch-Diocese Vercelli (which neighbors Milan where Mirja resides), is very understandable:
“As also in the Diocese of Alessandria some faithful and faith groups are involved in the events that have happened in Medjugorje since 1981, and go on pilgrimages there and meet here (in Italy) to practice their devotion to Mary and since recently in these meetings there is an alleged seer…. I … ask the priests to not allow, during celebrations within our churches (in the bishop’s diocese), offerings to be given to private persons (even if they are alleged seers), intended for private works, in order to avoid exploitation and suspicion.”
[La Chiesa e Medjugorje. Precisazioni del Vescovo, “La voce alessandrina. Settimanale di informazione e opinione della Diocesi di Alessandria”, No 23, 17 June 2011, p. 12]
lAfter studying the Medjuorje events and related projects Monsignor Andrea Gemma, experienced exorcist and former Bishop of Isernia-Venafro (1990-2006), stated that Medjugorje is:
“.At Medjugorje everything happens for the sake of money: pilgrimages, overnight stays, the sales of trinkets. In this way, abusing the good faith of the poor people who go there with the idea of meeting the Madonna, the false seers have set themselves up financially, they have married and live a wealthy life, to say the least.”
Congruent with the bishop’s observation, renowned Mariologist and Medjugorje advocate Rev. René Laurentin noted that Marija
“…had gone from the poorest family among all the visionaries to a condition of wealth that led her to a very different culture and to an easy and brilliant life” [“Eco di Medjugorje”, No 84, July 1991, p. 6].
Before proceeding, it is necessary to state that when the Bishop of Mostar announced his negative assessment pertaining to certain Franciscan Friars and others pertaining to pilgrims coming to Medjugorje from 1981 through 87, they were canonically binding. It was not until after the CDF asked the Yugoslav Bishop’s Conference to oversee the matter that these diocesan rulings were superseded by the “Zadar Declaration” promulgated by the Yugoslav Bishop’s in 1991. Nonetheless, at every interval up to that date the Franciscans remained disobedient, as did the seers who supported them with the “Gospa” herself backing the Franciscans against the valid juridical pronouncements of the Bishop of Mostar. Consequently, hosts of pilgrims were also disobedient perhaps due to poor council or from ignorance of the Church’s clear directives, which remained buried under a sea of propaganda to the contrary.
In this regard,
Bishop Gemma, quoted above, continues:
“The more fanatical faithful, in fact, aren’t listening to the Church, which – I repeat – has, from the beginning, warned about the mendacity of the Medjugorje apparitions.”
Related to this disobedience is a militant Medjugorje “cult” located in Birmingham, Alabama that calls itself “Caritas”. The Virgin Mary has supposedly appeared in one of the bedrooms in the home of the Caritas founder (over one hundred times) who claims the Virgin Mary personally knighted him. In 2011 Caritas spent over $8 million to expand its main building, press operation, bookstore and tabernacle. Neither the tabernacle nor the visions are recognized by the Diocese of Birmingham.
Pilgrims process in front of Main Building on the Caritas grounds in Birmingham, Alabama
Interestingly, Marija, has visited Caritas at least twelve times since its inception in 1988 even though it has been identified as a “cult”. According to Father Svetozar Kraljevic, OFM, parish of Medjugorje, Caritas in Birmingham, Alabama should be avoided:
“Dear brothers and sisters, Here in Medjugorje, in the name of the priests who are working in the parish with pilgrims who are coming from all over the world, I express my deep concern for the organization called CARITAS from Birmingham, Alabama.“
According to EWTN:
“Caritas of Birmingham is a controversial organization. Our local bishop has stated in the daily newspaper that it is a “business” and his priests do not have permission to celebrate Mass there. With such a negative standing with Church authority in the Diocese of Birmingham, I believe you can reach your own conclusion about the wisdom of pursuing any interest in the organization.”
The same communique from the CDF that prohibited Ivan Dragicevich from appearing in the United States applies to Marija as well. As stated in Part Two, “Recently, Ivan’s apparitions were proscribed in the United States. On October 21, 2013 at the request of Cardinal Gerhard Muller (current Prefect of the CDF under Pope Francis), Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano (Apostolic Nuncio to the United States) forwarded a letter, regarding Medjugorje and Medjugorian seer Ivan Dragicevic, to Msgr. Ron Jenkins, Secretary of the United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The nuncio iterated the CDF’s acceptance of the 1991 Yugoslavian Bishop’s Conference ruling (The Zadar Declaration) as normative (binding) until the CDF makes its own final determination.
“As you are aware, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is in the process of investigating certain doctrinal and disciplinary aspects of the phenomenon of Medjugorje. For this reason, the Congregation has affirmed that, with regard to the credibility of the “apparitions” in question, all should accept the declaration, dated 10 April 1991 (The Zadar Declaration).”
In 1996 Secretary of the CDF, Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, like the Papal Nuncio, made it clear that the CDF made its own the 1991 Yugoslavian Bishop’s pronouncement (the Zadar Declaration), which stated:
“On the basis of the research that has been done, it is not possible to state that there were apparitions or supernatural revelations….It follows, therefore, that clerics and the faithful are not permitted to participate in meetings, conferences or public celebrations during which the credibility of such ‘apparitions’ are taken for granted.”
In this same letter conveyed to the USCCB the nuncio expressed his “wishes to:
“…inform the (US) Bishops that one of the so-called visionaries of Medjogorje [sic], Mr. Ivan Dragicevic, is scheduled to appear at certain parishes around the country, during which time he will make presentations regarding the phenomenon of Medjogorje.”
“It is anticipated, moreover, that Mr. Dragicevic will be receiving ‘apparitions’ during these scheduled appearances.”
In other words, the issue is still under scrutiny; nonetheless, both the seers and the public often accept the credibility of the apparitions as taken for granted, when the Church has ruled that they cannot betaken for granted.
Consequently, Marija makes regular circuit visits to Caritas, which has raised significant money associated with her visits, visits that began in 1988 when she first arrived to have an apparition for the Fourth of July. She came in 2008 and 2009 as well as 2013 for Fourth celebrations that were all capped with advertised appearances and messages from Our Lady (after the Zadar declaration and Archbishop Bertone’s Letter). During her frequent visits (at least 12), Marija leads pilgrims in the rosary while kneeling beneath a mammoth oak tree before a statue of the Blessed Mother until she stops praying and glances heavenward as if talking to the Virgin Mary – this is certainly a presumption of credibility, a taking of visitations “for granted” without any caveat or off-setting disclaimer as would be required to make such apparitions and attendant messages valid.
If Dragicevic’s meetings were prohibited due to a presumption of truth and because, “It is (was) anticipated that Mr. Dragicevic will (would) be receiving ‘apparitions’ during these scheduled appearances”, so too are Marija’s proscribed because the same criteria apply to all the “seers”.
Nonetheless, Caritas Director, Terry Colafrancesco, like the Franciscans in Medjugorje, remains militant and defiant. Instead of obediently acquiescing to episcopal authority, he prefers to blame the Church, rather than himself, for causing “confusion”. Rather than humbly admitting that he is causing confusion by contradicting the Church, he brashly and falsely states that it is the Church that is causing confusion; in this case he is referring to the letter sent by the CDF to the American bishops.
“They are creating confusing signals.”
If Terry referred to Canon Law and to the Holy Bible (1 Cor 14:33), he would find that Church authority is intended to promote peace and order for the good of the faithful; he would find that the Holy Spirit is a Spirit of Peace, which is a fruit of love (Galatians 5:22), that the Holy Spirit dwells in the Church (Ephesians 2: 19-22). It is concupiscence (James 4:1) and the devil that lies thereby causing confusion (John 8:44). People who claim greater authority than the Church, people who claim to be conduits of peace and accuse the Church of causing confusion and resultant discord, people such as these “serve not Christ our Lord, but their own belly; and by pleasing speeches and good words, seduce the hearts of the innocent” (Romans 16:18). Following people such as these leads to disobedience and bondage. Obedience, on the other hand, leads to peace and triumph over the devil:
“For your obedience is published in every place. I rejoice therefore in you. But I would have you to be wise in good, and simple in evil. And the God of peace crush Satan under your feet speedily” (Apostle Paul to the Romans 16:19).
In claiming that the Church is causing confusion, Colafrancesco is unwittingly claiming that the bishops are being led by the devil, but that he, he more than the bishops themselves, is inspired by God. He is unwittingly claiming that his defiance of the bishops, more than obedience to their directives, is the source of peace and unity. Yet, the scriptures clearly state that he who hears the bishops hear Christ. In this regard, John the Apostle states:
“We are of God. He that knoweth God, heareth us. He that is not of God, heareth us not. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:6)
Again, St. Paul speaking of apostolic authority: “And even if I should boast a little too much of our authority” (2 Corinthians 10:8) boldly states:
“We destroy arguments and every pretension raising itself against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive in obedience to Christ and we are ready to punish every disobedience” (2 Corinthians 10:5-6).
Again, St Paul, Hebrews 13:17:
“Obey your prelates, and be subject to them.”
Most poignantly, when Jesus tells the apostles to go forward without “purse, nor scrip, nor shoes” he assures them,
“He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me” (Luke 10:16).
That this statement refers to the apostles is clear from Luke 22:35 where speaking to the Apostle Peter, Jesus states:
‘When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, did you want anything?
Apostolic authority does not sit well with Colafranceso; instead of obedience that would preserve him from error and therefore preserve the peace intended by God, he prefers to spew falsehoods as if he were the authority on the Virgin Mary. According to Colafrancesco,
“If they’re (the bishops) going to push this, there’s going to be so many people they’ll have to excommunicate….They can’t stop us from having devotion. They’ll have to condemn Medjugorje. Unless it’s condemned, the faithful can have devotion.”
Apparently, Colafranceso refuses to accept the authority of local bishops in Medjugorje, the Yugoslav Bishops’ Conference and the Holy See itself. His simple excuse, they are creating confusion and unless Medjugorje is condemned the faithful can have devotion.
This is a partially true statement, as are most statements by the devil who subtly mixes truth with lies (Genesis 3:1-5). Sometimes it is more subtle to tell a half-truth while leaving the false information out. It is as important to listen to what is NOT said as it is to what is said. It is true as Colafrancesoc states, viz., the faithful can have devotion; however, by providing only a partial truth, the statement is erroneous. The faithful may have devotion, IF it is not taken for granted that Our Lady is appearing or that her messages are true; this is the part of the Zadar Declaration that Colafrancesco left out. The people running Caritas take it for granted, take it as true that Our Lady is appearing and that her messages are true, take it for granted that supernatural events are occurring in Medjugorje and in Birmingham. Thus, they refuse to add the required disclaimers; instead Colafrancesco prefers to make implicit threats about schism, viz.,
“If they’re going to push this, there’s going to be so many people they’ll have to excommunicate.”
If people have to be excommunicated it is due to continued defiance of Church directives. No one at all will be excommunicated if they accept and are obedient to episcopal directives pertaining to Medjugorje and Caritas.
It appears that Colafrancesco, thinks that the apparitions occurring in his house and in Medjugorje some how trump the apostles and the magisterium. He therefore appears to have little or no intention of accepting a negative decision or placing any type of required limits on his disobedient claims and the way they are advertised. Fortunately, in spite of what he might think, Colafrancesco is not an authority on the matter as he makes himself out to be. It is the bishops, and they alone, who have been delegated power for the peaceful ordering and governance of God’s people (Matt 18: 16-20). Even, if he is an authority, that hypothetical fact would change nothing – he is not an apostle!
All of this an Mirija continues as a guest in his house, even more confusing, the Virgin Mary also appears in his home to give regular messages. Is she condoning his disobedience as she did that of the Franciscans as detailed in Part One?
With the exception of Vicka, all the supposed “seers” are married and have children. Like several of the others, Vicka lives in Medjugorje and receives pilgrims at her family home.
Vicka seems, at times, to be so caught up in what she is saying that she appears to disregard what others are saying as demonstrated in the following video, which captures her appearance as a guest on the RTE Late Show in Ireland. The host continually found himself in a quandary and had to eventually excuse himself as the one being rude; he could not get a question in because she could not or would not close her mouth to stop talking. Vicka has this loquacious quality, which is also strangely manifest in the Virgin of Medjugorje who, unlike the Mary of Sacred Scripture (who quietly reflected on things – Luke 2:19), can’t seem to stop talking; she has given over 40,000 messages everyday for over thirty years, most of them repeats of previously stated themes.
The rudeness begins at 40 seconds (and continues throughout) when Vicka pushes a gentle phrased question aside (a question that she never answers) and then proceeds to control the interview. Finally the host gets a question in at 5:12 only to be rebuffed again. He tries again at 8:58 (“can..can..ca. ah”); by this time the whole scene is growing increasingly embarrassing.
Perhaps her non-empathetic extroverted loquitioness accounts for her being identified as the leader of the pack. According to Bishop Zanic, Vicka:
“…is the main “seer” from the beginning and through her the creator of Medjugorje, Rev. Tomislav Vlašić OFM, has launched the main portion of falsehoods regarding Medjugorje. He presented himself to the Pope in a letter May 13, 1984 as follows: “I am Rev. Tomislav Vlašić, the one according to Divine Providence who guides the seers of Medjugorje.”
“Vicka spoke and wrote much, and in so doing she fell into many contradictions (Proverbs 10:19). Prof. Nikola Bulat, a member of the first Commission, questioned her and wrote a 60 page study on her. He numbered all the illogicalities and falsehoods of her diary. Here I will only mention the bloody handkerchief. Word spread around that there was a certain taxi driver who came across a man who was bloody all over. This man gave this taxi driver a bloodied handkerchief and he told him to: “throw this in the river”. The driver went on and then he came across a woman in black. She stopped him and asked him to give her a handkerchief. He gave her his own, but she said: “not that one but the bloody handkerchief.” He gave her the handkerchief she wanted and she then said: “If you had thrown it into the river the end of the world would have occurred now.”
“Vicka Ivanković wrote in her diary that they asked Our Lady if this event was true and she said that it was, and along with this, “that man covered, with blood was my son Jesus, and I (Our Lady) was that woman in black.” What kind of theology is this? From this it appears that Jesus wants to destroy the world if a handkerchief is thrown into a river and its Our Lady who saves the world!”
Like Ivan, Vicka is profiting off of the apparitions. In 1994, Father René Laurentin admitted:
“Ivan now owns a beautiful new house, which will allow him earn a living by hosting pilgrims. This is already the source of income for Mirjana, Ivanka, Vicka and soon Jakov.
[René Laurentin, Dernières nouvelles de Medjugorje, No 13, O.E.I.L., Paris, 1994, p. 24]
The profit motive helps to account for the longevity of the messages: It is quite clear that in the absence of a recognition by the Church, if the alleged apparitions and the messages ended, it would lead to a gradual decline in interest in Medjugorje.
“Well, here is the problem: if the apparitions ceased, the visionaries (and many of their relatives) would find themselves deprived of their current sources of income.
[René Laurentin, Dernières nouvelles de Medjugorje, No 13, O.E.I.L., Paris, 1994, p. 24]
Another problem that has surfaced recently (Feb 8, 2017) is a claim by Sister Emmanuel Maillard from Bosnia that, “According to Vicka the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is VERY close.”
Medjugorje website Chere-Gospa, has published a report that says Sister Emmanuel has received information that “according to Vicka the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is VERY close.”
Given the fact that the seers have reported a series of every increasing chastisements contained in the ten secrets and that the chastisements have not begun yet, it is interesting that NOW Our Lady is talking about the “Triumph”, presumably the Fatima Triumph of Her Immaculate Heart, that supposedly follows upon the conversion of Russia.
By this time, Feb 2017, it has become quite obvious that Russia is going through a conversion process (explore New Era News for tens of news stories and Intelligence Briefs detailing the event on an almost daily basis for the past few years). Given the fact, that Russia is emerging as a Christian nation meaning that the Triumph promised at Fatima is close at hand, the seers are caught in a quandary. Thus, it is clear why Bishop Zanic asked them to write the “secrets” down in duplicate, one to be retained in a sealed enveloped by him or his successor and the other by the seers. When the secrets occurred in the future, the bishop proposed opening and comparing the contents of the duplicate envelopes to verify the valid or bogus nature of their contents. Of course, the children, after being advised by the Franciscans, refused to cooperate with the bishop leaving them a wide swathe of maneuverability for the future. Nonetheless, It appears that their plan is falling apart. Russia’s conversion is throwing a monkey-wrench into the entire works. The much ballyhooed chastisements had better all happen very soon (the entire increasing crescendo of all of them in a very short period of time) or the whole thing falls apart – perhaps this helps account for the massive media campaign (on left and right) against Russia.
Nonetheless, if Russia is being converted, that campaign will loose its efficacy.
This is a perplexing revelation. Which one is it, chastisement and punishment or Triumph? All earlier Medjugorje leaks and messages indicated punishment and chastisement were imminent; now we are told the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart is at hand – obviously because it is occurring in plain sight for anyone with eyes able to see, with eyes to discern’ the Spirit of God at work in human history as foretold at Fatima.
Much more, very much more, could be written, but it is hoped that enough has been provided to establish a clear pattern:
Ivan, Vicka and Marija have founded lucrative businesses based in serving pilgrims that come to Medjugorje; all three continue on the Medjugorje circuit; all have been disobedient to local bishops, to national bishop’s conferences and to the Holy See. A recent sudden turnabout does not change any of this; they apparently realize that their time is about up. Perhaps this accounts for Vicka’s enigmatic words to Sister Emmanuel Maillard regarding the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart:
“You know that we are swimming in a major apostasy. Our Lady said: “all is collapsing.”
Interpreting this as double speak, Vicka might very well be telling the truth. The truth however is not about the conversion of Russia and the triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart. Rather, it is a related truth about the collapse of the Medjugorje phenomenon. By leaving the pronoun “we” open to interpretation; given all that is known about Medjugorje, it might be said that “we” refers to the Medjugorje seers themselves and their supporters; they are all “swimming in a see of apostasy“. With the Triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart rapidly approaching, the entire Medjugorje secret in Bosnia, Caritas, and around the world is about to be revealed, the entire scheme is about to be exploded – all is collapsing.”
After all, Vicka did say that the Gospa is identified as the “Light Bearer”, a strange title for Our Lady since it is not in any Roman Litany and because “Light Bearer” translates into Latin, the language of the Church, as, “Lucifer.”
“When we read that Vicka has called Mary the Light-Bearer–that is, she has called Mary Lucifer, since “Bearer of Light” is a literal translation of the term. In fact, since translations of Medjugorje messages are typically generated in as many languages as is practicable, a translation of Vicka’s statement into Latin would simply state that Maria is Lucifer.
On top of this, the Gospa (March 2, 2013) has called all the followers of Medjugorje, to be “light bearers“. In articles that follow, it will be demonstrated that the most devout adepts, those who have advanced from the apparitions to lead Medjugorje study and prayer groups have indeed become “light-bearers”, bearers of New Age theosophy rooted in ancient mystery cults that filled the world before Christ came to dispel them.
GO TO PART 4: “Medjugore Saga Priests & Bishops to Seers & Advocates: Mirjana Soldo”