ARTICLES ONE THROUGH THREE presented the historical background of the “Medjugore Saga” detailing the fractured relationship between the Diocesan Bishops and rebellious Franciscan Friars that dot the pages of the still unfolding drama. They also presented sketches of the two Diocesan Bishops and the first group of three seers, Ivan, Vicka and Mirjana, who have each received nine of the purported ten “secrets” confided to them by their “Gospa”. This current article and the following fifth article, presents the final three seers who are grouped together because each has each received all ten “secrets” and now experience only periodic monthly and occasional other visits from the Gospa.
Mirjana Dragicevic – Soldo
Mirjana Dragicevic was born in Sarajevo on March 18, 1965, to Jozo and Milena Dragicevic. She lived in Sarajevo and attended school there. Like all of the other seers, Marijana is currently married; she and her husband Marco and two daughters live in Medjugorje.
Mirjana had daily apparitions from June 24, 1981 until December 25, 1982, when they ended. On this date, Mirjana received her 10th and final secret. She was the first seer to receive all 10 secrets. She is also the one to whom the Gospa entrusted the responsibility to reveal the ten secrets at an unspecified future date.
Since her final daily apparition (December 1982), the Gospa appears to Mirjana only once a year on her birthday (March 18). At first Marijana stated that the apparitions would occur on her birthday for the rest of her life. Shortly thereafter, Mirjana began to experience interior locutions during which the Gospa asked her to pray for non-believers. Our Lady began appearing to Marijana in external visions (apparitions) on a more regular basis: once a month, on August 2, 1987. Thus, since August, 1987, the Gospa has been appearing to her on the 2nd day of every month to pray with her for all unbelievers.
These apparitions however, were all private and remained so for almost ten years until Mirjana let it be known that the Gospa wanted these apparitions to be open to the public. Thus, on February 2, 1997 Mirjana received her first public apparition in fifteen years. Since that time, on the second of every month thousands of pilgrims once again gather around Mirjana to “be with Our Lady” and to join them both in prayer for non-believers. During these times, the Gospa also presents a monthly message. These monthly “messages” are similar to monthly messages confided to Marija Pavolovic on the 25th of every month (Article Three).
Before proceeding, this means that Our Lady was not satisfied with only one monthly message; the messages, although trite, are apparently so important that one, the message given to Marija Pavolovic, was insufficient, two a month must be given in addition to the 40,000 already confided over a thirty year period and the 90+ other messages given every month of the year. The Gospa appears every day of the year with a differnt messages given to Ivan, Vicka and Marija. It is true that daily apparitions occur every evening at 6:40 PM in Medjugorje. Marija, however, lives in Italy and Ivan in the United States necessitating different messages for each.
The Gospa also appears to the seers at different times (a time other than 6:40) if they are traveling or for other unusual circumstances. For example, Ivan hosts a prayer groups on Monday and Friday nights; on these night the Gospa appears to him at 10 PM. She also appears to the other three, Marijana, Jakov, and Ivanka one day a year and also, as indicated above, to Mirijana on the second day of each month. Mirjana’s annual visit occurs March 18th, Jakov’s is December 25th and Ivanka’s is June 25th. In summary then, their are 3 different daily messages (except when all three are together in Medjugorje) supplemented by 2 monthly messages and 12 yearly messages given by the Gospa to the seers, approx. 1,131 messages per year.
Like Ivan Dragicevic and Marija Pavolovic, Miranja also own and operate a hotel catering business in Medjugorje. Italian TV-Rai News reported (June 16, 2011) that
“Given the large flux of pilgrims, Mirjana has recently expanded her hotel with a new wing.”
The new wing or guesthouse, named, Mirjana i Marko, opened in the spring of 2011. The Mirana i Marko Guesthouse, which offers extended double and triple suites, is located between Mirjana’s own house and one owned by Ivan Dragicevic’s parents. Rooms can be booked online along with an advertisement carrying messages from Our Lady in violation of the Zadar Declaration reviewed in Parts Two and Three
Unlike Ivan or any of the others, Mirjana is the only seer to have obtained a college degree from the University of Sarajevo. Marijana has indicated that Our Lady might still be appearing to her if she had forgone college:
In an interview with Fr. Tomislav Vlasic on January 10, 1983, Mirjana stated:
“I asked Her (Our Lady) why She would no longer appear to me, after such a long time, and She explained that because I had decided to continue my schooling, I must learn to live my life without Her direct help and advice. She told me that I’m no different from any other young person, any other girl, and that I must live accordingly” (even though the Virgin Mary appears to her 13 times a year).
Problems Telling the Truth
According to Bishop Zanic, Mirjana has some difficulty telling the truth:
“One month after the beginning of the “apparitions” I went to Medjugorje to question the ‘seers’. I asked each of them to take an oath on the cross and demanded that they must speak the truth. (This conversation and oath was recorded on tape). The first one was Mirjana: “We went to look for our sheep when at once…” (The associate pastor in the parish interrupted and told me that they actually went out to smoke, which they hid from their parents). “Wait a minute Mirjana, you’re under oath. Did you go out to look for your sheep?”
She put her hand over her mouth, “forgive me, we went out to smoke.” She than showed me the watch on which the “miracle” occurred because the hands of the watch had gone haywire…. I told her not to mention that a miracle occurred. Yet, on cassettes taped later on, she went on to speak of how a miracle occurred with the watch and that initially they had gone out to search for their sheep.”
Related to her penchant for fabricating false episodes, Mirjana believes that now is the time to share her broader story with the whole world. In her first book, MY HEART WILL TRIUMPH, released in the USA on August 15, 2016 she claims that on the final day of her daily apparitions Our Lady not only confided the ten secrets, but that She also presented them on a mysterious parchment covered with veiled words, which only Mirjana could understand, that is, only Mirjana could grasp their real meaning. Before departing, the Gospa said to her
“Now you will have to turn to God in faith like any other person, I have chosen you; I have confided in you everything that is essential. I have also shown you many terrible things. You must now bear it all with courage. Think of me and think of the tears I must shed for that. You must remain brave. You have quickly grasped the messages. You must also understand now that I have to go away. Be courageous.”
Q: “Where is the parchment now?
“In my room. When I got all the ten secrets, I was always afraid that I might forget something. I was not sure about myself to remember all those dates. It gave me trouble all the time. So one day, while I was having the vision, Mary simply gave me that, we call it foil, that parchment. It is neither a paper or a tissue or fabric – just like an old pigment parchment. So all ten secrets are nicely written on it and so I keep that paper in the drawer with the rest of my papers. I showed it to a cousin of mine and she just saw a letter. She did not see any secrets, she just saw it as a letter. And I showed it to, I think it was my aunt. I showed it to her and she just saw certain poems. Nobody sees the same. Only me, only I can see the secrets, so there is no danger – I don’t have to hide it, to conceal it. I can keep it on the table because nobody is able to read it, the secrets.
Information about parchment is located at 21:20
Corroborating this hard to believe episode provided by Mirjana, reputable theologian Rene Luarentin wrote that she told him:
“Our Lady gave me just a special sheet on which the ten secrets are written. It is made by a material that can not be described. It seems like paper but it is not paper. It seems like cloth but is not cloth. It is visible. You can touch it but you can not see the writing. When the time will come, I will present the sheet to the chosen priest. He will receive the grace to read only the first secret, and later the others. My cousin, an engineer in Switzerland, examined it but did not succeed in identifying the material.
SOURCE: [René Laurentin, Le apparizioni di Medjugorje continuano. Proroga di misericordia per un mondo in pericolo?, Queriniana, Brescia, 1986, p. 33. English edition: Apparitions at Medjugorje Prolonged: A Merciful Delay for a World in Danger, Riehle Foundation, 1987]
Laurentin also reported the following episode:
“I met her (Mirjana) on 1 January 1986, at the rectory. I asked her about that mysterious note which seems to constitute an objection. Calmly she confirmed the existence: I can read it, the others can not. I asked: You showed it to your cousin. Why didn’t you show it to the priests in your parish? This question has not received a response either by her or by the Fathers. [Ibid., p. 36]
Like the Book of Mormon which no one has ever seen, apparently this one is preparing to disappear too:
Concerning this, Mirjana was interviewed in Medjugorje by both Father Laurentin and Father Petar Ljubicić. In which they stated
“We questioned her also about that kind of parchment, neither paper nor cloth, on which the ten secrets are supposed to be invisibly written. Could she show it to us?
Mirjana: “In case the Committee requests it, I would need to ask Virgin Mary for permission first.
“She doesn’t have the document with her. She left it in a drawer in Sarajevo.”
Mirjana: “I can read it….But a cousin of mine, who found it in my house, believed she could read something, but it was not what was written on it.
SOURCE: [R. Laurentin, Derniéres nouvelles de Medjugorje, No 9, O.E.I.L., Paris, 1990, p. 18]
Like Joseph Smith who claimed to have transcribed the Book of Mormon from mysterious golden plates allegedly given to him by the angel Moroni from which he derived the Book of Mormon, Mirjana claims to have received ten secrets from the Gospa. Afterward, Smith returned the plates to the angel before few others could view them. Mirjana has protected herself in a similar fashion. No one has seen the parchment except a few potential witnesses such as her children and cousin (who should be questioned about the parchment). Other than that, no bishop or committee member, not even Laurentin himself, has seen the alleged parchment. According to Mirana, it cannot be revealed unless the Gospa gives “permission”, presumably, not even if the pope should request it. This is a convenient way to keep the parchment from ever being examined. Perhaps, Mirjana, like Smith, will return it to its heavenly source? Perhaps the mystical parchment is like the sheep, a story fabricated by the so-called “seer”, which ca only get her into deeper trouble.
Unfortunately, these fabrications do not help Mirjana nor the Medjugore cause; they are violations of Article B-Subsection 1 of the Positive Criteria established by the CDF to evaluate the authenticity of apparitions:
Article B: Particular circumstances relative to the existence and to the nature of the fact, that is to say:
Subsection 1: Personal qualities of the subject or of the subjects (in particular, psychological equilibrium, honesty and rectitude of moral life, sincerity and habitual docility towards Ecclesiastical Authority, the capacity to return to a normal regimen of a life of faith, etc.)
Although Mirjana was told that her daily visits would end in 1982, she apparently could not return to a “normal regimen”; instead, she took up the hotel-motel business and began receiving apparitions again on a regular monthly basis, apparitions that have continued unabated since the resumed in 1987 and then went public in 1997.