In Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the poorest country in Europe, there is one village where people live above standard – Medjugorje.
Most residents there own big houses and drive luxury cars.
They have made their money of religious tourism – by renting apartments and selling souvenirs to pilgrims who are coming to this small village en masse searching for a miracle.
Medjugorje is one of the largest Marian pilgrimage sites in Europe, with an estimated million of yearly visits – and it all started on June 24, 1981, when six children began to experience phenomena which they have claimed to be apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Kids have claimed they have seen the Mother of God and that She spoke to them.
Over the years the word about the Marian apparitions in Medjugorje have spread, people were coming from around the world to see the visionaries in person, and Međugorje grew from a small and god forgotten village to a bustling town with dozens of bead and breakfast, and a growing Catholic souvenir industry.
The (economical) miracle was clearly visible.
However, this year has been particularly hard on Medjugorje residents living of tourists.
With global pandemic business has died, and now one of the visionaries, Mirjana Dragicevic Soldo had said that the Virgin Mary told her that She will not be appearing to her as often.
For years Mirjana Dragicevic Soldo had apparitions every second day of the month and most pilgrimages in Medjugorje were scheduled that day.
As Pilgrimage Medjugorje describes, pilgrimages’ group leaders would encourage their pilgrims to experience this event in a unique way by spending the night at the Blue Cross, which is at the base of Apparition Mountain. In this way, pilgrims were in a position to be able to look into Mirjana’s eyes, which were looking into the eyes of the Mother of God.
But now this monthly public apparitions have come to an end.
On March 18, Soldo announced that the Blessed Mother would no longer appear to her every second day in the month.
Virgin Mary reportedly told her that from now on she will appear to Mirjana only on her birthday (once a year) and that these apparitions will be private.