The village of Medjugorje
in Bosnia where six peasant children see visions of the Virgin Mary,
is (as of this writing) miraculously free of damage from the brutal
civil war which rages through the rest of the country.
Although the war has come as close as three miles away, the village
has been unscathed by the shelling. In fact, one cluster bomb was dropped
on the village in May, but the eight bomblets inside failed to explode.
Priests at St James Church feel confident enough to resume saying Mass
in the church instead of in the basement bomb shelter where Masses have
been held in previous months.
The survival of Medjugorje is expected to deepen the controversy within
the church over the apparitions. Although the Bishop who oversees Medjugorje
says he believes the visitations are a hoax, the Vatican stepped in
in 1986 to do its own investigation. Nothing official has been heard
since. The Reverend Slavko Barbaric, a Franciscan who has embraced the
shrine, says that Medjugorje survived the war and "when you write about
this, say the Franciscans are all smiling. I pray this time is going
to be useful for us, and it will open the eyes. The war is a cross for
us, and the message is to take seriously the messages of Our Lady."
( Source: Scripps Howard News Service; reported in Share International,
October 1992 )