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Our Lady of Medjugorje

Medjugorje is a town located in the Herzegovina region of Bosnia and Herzegovina, around 25 km (16 mi) southwest of Mostar and close to the border of Croatia. The town is part of the municipality of Čitluk. Since 1981, it has become a popular site of Catholic pilgrimage due to reports of alleged apparitions of the Virgin Mary to six local Catholics.
The name Međugorje literally means . At an altitude of 200 m (660 ft) above sea level it has a mild Mediterranean climate. The town consists of an ethnically homogeneous Croat population of 2306. The Roman Catholic parish (local administrative and religious area) consists of five neighbouring villages: Medjugorje, Bijakovići, Vionica, Miletina and Šurmanci.

Our Lady of Medjugorje (also called Queen of Peace) is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary by those who believe that she appeared in 1981 to six Herzegovinian children in Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina (at the time in SFR Yugoslavia). The visionaries often refer to the apparition as the Gospa which is Croatian for Lady. On June 24, 1981, young Mirjana Dragicevic and Ivanka Ivanković reported seeing an apparition of the Virgin Mary in a village in what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina. The following day another vision was reported, this time also by four other young people:, Marija Pavlović Jakov Colo, Vicka Ivanković and Ivan Dragicevic. The children claim that they saw an apparition on the hill Crnica (on the place called Podbrdo); the alleged apparition was a white form with a child in her arms. Surprised and scared, they did not approach. The next day at the same time four of the youths returned, and were later joined by the other two.
For several years the six visionaries reported seeing daily apparitions from the Virgin Mary and Medjugorje became crowded with pilgrims. It has been reported that Our Lady of Medjugorje has been appearing daily to three of these visionaries ever since, some say that they have stopped having daily apparitions.

In the nearly 33 years that she has purportedly been appearing to the six visionaries, they have been reporting receiving messages from the Virgin Mary asking for people to pray often, fast and do penance. Many phenomena have been reported at Medjugorje, such as the sun spinning, dancing in the sky, turning colours, or being surrounded by objects such as hearts or crosses. Many have reported that they have been able to look at the sun during those times without any damage to their eyes. The tall cement cross erected on Mount Podbrdo (where many of the apparitions had taken place) has reportedly disappeared and reappeared or else glowed as if lit with lights, although there is no electricity on the mountain. Not everyone reports seeing the same miracles at the same time. Miraculous healing has also been reported.

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