Interview with Vicka Ivankovic by Kresimir Sego
Date: May 8, 2007 , Originally published 1996
Author: Fra Kresimir Sego
Category: Visionaries , Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic , Interviews
Content of the article
All Men are Our Lady's Children
What do you recommend to the people in our parish and to pilgrims?
I don't recommend anything myself, anything out of my own head. I recommend Our Lady's message, and nothing of my own making. Always when I talk to somebody, I point out what is my advice, I warn him that it is mine, not Our Lady's, just to avoid every misunderstanding. What Our Lady says, I point out. Nevertheless, people often convey that wrongly. I have no need to present what is mine if I have what is more important, what we are all told.
The messages that Our Lady gives on every 25th in the month always starts with "Dear children". Who are her children, the visionaries or all men?
All. All of us who are willing to accept her message. We are all her children. When she gives us a message, she gives it for the whole world, for everybody who wants to be Our Lady's child.
We, the visionaries, have our faults, for sure, nobody is perfect. What matters most is that a man wants to change, to go forward, to help others. The most important thing is to live Our Lady's message. If I am not ready to live it, why should I tell it to others? If you want to live Our Lady's message, if you want to change, if you build it up in your heart, then you may tell it to others, too. As long as you do not undertake anything, you'd better keep silent.
Your family is burdened, too?
Yes, but they have accepted it. God gave them that gift and I really think they are bearing it all right. I have a wonderful family. They know what is mine, they know that every morning I have meetings with pilgrim groups. When I finish with it, I am at their disposal. As for my family, there is nothing that might obstruct my obligations towards the pilgrims.
Do you ever get tired of so many obligations, of so many people?
I don't feel a bit tired. Never. My work always starts early in the morning and lasts until far into the night. Every day.
You are often with the sick. What are your experiences?
There are sick people. But those sick in spirit are more seriously ill than the physically sick. People need a word of consolation, they only ask for strength. it is hard to say today that sickness is a great gift of God, it's unimaginable telling a sick person, who suffers of cancer, for example, or of any other disease, that it is a gift of God. Everybody tries to get rid of a disease. Far be it from him.
But, indeed, Our Lady says that sickness is a gift of God, for God knows why He has given this gift to me, to you, to anybody, and He knows when He will take it back, and He demands our patience. Nothing has been given without a reason; everything has its why, and so, she says, when it is given to you, say, "Thank you, O God, for this gift, if you have another such gift I am ready to accept it. But give me also the strength that I may do this for You with the heart and with love". Our Lady once pointed out that we are not able even to imagine what an importance our suffering has in the eyes of God.
How do seriously ill people feel when you are with them?
The people are glad, for I pray over them, give them a word of consolation, convey them the message. They feel instantly relieved.
What does Medjugorje mean in the world today?
Medjugorje means a lot, for sure. I mean not Medjugorje as a place, but Medjugorje as a message certainly means a lot. It is really something that one cannot imagine, I mean that Our Lady's message has spread all over the world, to its farthest corner. Judging by the messages I receive, by the letters from all over the world, people are delighted. This has become an oasis of peace; nowhere can a man find such a peace as here under Our Lady's shelter, in her presence, covered with her mantle. That's why it is so. But Medjugorje is great by Our Lady's message and because Our Lady is still here, because her presence is still on a daily basis. Lourdes, Fatima and other places are pilgrim places, it's wonderful to be in them but one has a different feeling in a place where Our Lady is "alive" . That's why people feel that Medjugorje is great, because Heaven is still on Earth here, and because Our Lady is present every day.
One cannot compare this to anything, one cannot express in words what Medjugorje means. For all people who come, Medjugorje is holy ground.
Since the first days of apparitions you and all other visionaries have been claiming that Our Lady speaks to you in the Croatian language?
Yes, and there is no greater favour than that. But we are not aware of that favour. Our Lady has accepted us, our people, to speak to others through us, but we forget sometimes to say, "Thank you". We do not appreciate enough what has been given to us.
In the war that has befallen us, Our Lady has protected us?
Our Lady knows, God knows best. God's favour is endless and He forgets no nation. At this moment, in our difficult moments of war and everything, only now do we really see how much Our Lady loves us and how much God loves us. They had foreseen the war and all the destruction and that's why she came to us. It is really a great favour beyond any comparison. We can never thank God enough; as long as one lives, he can never thank enough for this favour. The war came, true, but so did the help from people all over the world. The friends of Medjugorje are the friends of the Croatian people, which could be best felt during the war. Our Lady let our people be helped in this way, too.
Are you satisfied with the way journalists render your interviews?
Not even five percent do they convey of what I say. I cannot understand such twisting. I will do everything for the one who spreads Our Lady's message. If needed, I won't sleep for a month, only that good might be done.
Even during the most difficult war days Medjugorje was not without pilgrims?
No, it wasn't. During the war the French were the most numerous. Before the war they had been very few, but when the war broke out, they started coming, at times five buses of them would come at once, which impressed me very much indeed. They keep on coming. Today they are among the most numerous pilgrims.
Vicka, what do the site of the apparitions, the Hill of Apparitions, Mt. Krizevac and the church mean to you?
The site of the apparitions is the spot Our Lady steps upon, it's there that she comes, that is number one. Krizevac on the other hand is a place of penance, the Way of the Cross, a real Calvary. Our Lady comes to us on Mt. Krizevac when we go there with a prayer group, that's great. And the church, again, is something special, for Our Lady says Mass is the most important. You climb Podbrdo and Krizevac, and then you return to the church and do all that is important during the day, Mass being the crown of everything. Our Lady said, "The presence of God at church is more important than my presence, my being here". Although she is "Live" here, Our Lady wants to stress how much more important Jesus' presence is.
Pilgrims from various countries celebrate Holy Mass here in Medjugorje in their languages, English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Hungarian, Portuguese, Check, Slovak and other languages. However, a large number of them are present at the evening Mass. What attracts them in such large numbers to a Mass in the Croatian language, which they do not understand?
The evening Mass is a Mass for pilgrims, and for pilgrims it is quite enough to be present at it. Our Lady speaks Croatian to us, the Mass is in Croatian, Our Lady is present at that Mass. Of course there are no differences between Masses. We can see for ourselves how much the pilgrims are concentrated. Although they do not understand the language, they are profoundly participating in the Mass.
Do you still have visions on the Hill of Apparitions?
At this moment, no. When we all come together, we have visions both on the Hill of Apparitions and on Krizevac, it depends.