Scientific Research on Medjugorje visionaries

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French-Italian scientific theological commission “On the extraordinary events that are taking place in Medjugorje”

The international French-Italian scientific theological commission “on the extraordinary events that are taking place in Medjugorje” examined the apparitions of Medjugorje the most competently and the most expertly. The assembly of seventeen renowned natural scientists, doctors, psychiatrists and theologians in their research came to a 12 point conclusion on January 14, 1986 in Paina near Milan.

  1. On the basis of the psychological tests, for all and each of the visionaries it is possible with certainty to exclude fraud and deception.
  2. On the basis of the medical examinations, tests and clinical observations etc, for all and each of the visionaries it is possible to exclude pathological hallucinations.
  3. On the basis of the results of previous researches for all and each of the visionaries it is possible to exclude a purely natural interpretation of these manifestations.
  4. On the basis of information and observations that can be documented, for all and each of the visionaries it is possible to exclude that these manifestations are of the preternatural order i.e. under demonic influence.
  5. On the basis of information and observations that can be documented, there is a correspondence between these manifestations and those that are usually described in mystical theology.
  6. On the basis of information and observations that can be documented, it is possible to speak of spiritual advances and advances in the theological and moral virtues of the visionaries, from the beginning of these manifestations until today.
  7. On the basis of information and observations that can be documented, it is possible to exclude teaching or behavior of the visionaries that would be in clear contradiction to Christian faith and morals.
  8. On the basis of information or observations that can be documented, it is possible to speak of good spiritual fruits in people drawn into the supernatural activity of these manifestations and in people favorable to them.
  9. After more than four years, the tendencies and different movements that have been generated through Medjugorje, in consequence of these manifestations, influence the people of God in the Church in complete harmony with Christian doctrine and morals.
  10. After more than four years, it is possible to speak of permanent and objective spiritual fruits of movements generated through Medjugorje.
  11. It is possible to affirm that all good and spiritual undertakings of the Church, which are in complete harmony with the authentic magisterium of the Church, find support in the events in Medjugorje.
  12. Accordingly, one can conclude that after a deeper examination of the protagonists, facts, and their effects, not only in the local framework, but also in regard to the responsive chords of the Church in general, it is well for the Church to recognize the supernatural origin and, thereby, the purpose of the events in Medjugorje.

So far it is the most conscientious and the most complete research of the Medjugorje phenomena, and, for that very reason, it is the most positive that has yet been said about it on a scientific-theological level.

French team of experts headed by prof. Henri Joyeux

prof. Henri Joyeuxprof. Henri Joyeux

A French team of experts headed by Mr. Henri Joyeux also undertook a very serious work of examination of the visionaries. Employing the most modern equipment and expertise, it examined the internal reactions of the visionaries before, during, and after the apparitions. Likewise, the synchronization of their ocular, auditory, cardiac, and cerebral reactions. The results of that commission were very significant. They showed that the object of observation is external to the visionaries, and that any external manipulation or mutual agreement between the visionaries is excluded. The results with individual electro-encephalograms and other reactions are collected and elaborated in a special book (H. Joyeux - R. Laurentin, Etudes medicales et scientifique sur les Apparitions de Medjugorje, Paris 1986).

The results of the last mentioned commission confirmed the conclusions of the international commission and, for their part, they proved that the apparitions, to which the visionaries testify, are a phenomenon that surpasses modern science and that all points toward some other level of happening.

International Psycho-physiological and Psycho-diagnostic research


At the request of the Parish Office of Međugorje, psycho-physiological and psycho-diagnostic research was carried out on the subjects who since 1981 are known as the visionaries' group of Međugorje.

The research was carried out in four sessions:

  • The first research was carried out on April 22-23, 1998 at the Casa Incontri Cristiani (House of Christian Encounters) in Capiago Intimiano (Como), which is operated by the Dehonian Fathers. On this occasion the examined were: Ivan Dragićević, Marija Pavlović-Lunetti, and Vicka Ivanković.
  • The second research was carried out from on July 23-24, 1998 in Međugorje. Examined were Mirjana Soldo-Dragićević, Vicka Ivanković and Ivanka Elez-Ivanković.
  • The third research, only psycho-diagnostic, was conducted by psychologist Lori Bradvica on Jakov Čolo with the collaboration of Fr. Ivan Landeka.
  • The fourth psycho-physiological registration was conducted December 11, 1998 in the same House of Christian Encounters in Capiago Intimiano (Como) with Marija Pavlović.

The incompleteness of the psycho-physiological investigation was caused by the partial cooperation of some subjects who did not undergo what the working group had expected, due either to their family or social obligations or to their personal reluctance, even though Fr. Slavko Barbarić and Fr. Ivan Landeka encouraged them to do it, without any influences on the programs of the working group called "Međugorje 3", because, apart from individual medical or psychological investigation, prior to this research two groups had operated: the first a group of French doctors in 1984, and the second a group of Italian doctors in 1985. In addition three European psychiatrists in 1986 carried out only psychiatric-diagnostic investigations.

The following collaborated in the "Međugorje 3" work group:

  • Fr. Andreas Resch, theologian and psychologist from Institute for the Field Limits of Science (IGW) - Innsbruck; General coordinator.
  • Dr. Giorgio Gagliardi, medical psycho-physiologist from the Centre for Study and Research on Psychophysiology of States of Consciousness - Milano; member of board of European School of Hypnotic Psychotherapy AMISI, Milan and of the Parapsychology Centre of Bologna.
  • Dr. Marco Margnelli, medical psycho-physiologist and neuro-physiologist from the Centre for Study and Research on States of Consciousness - Milano, member of the professors' board of the European School AMISI, Milan;
  • Dr. Mario Cigada, psychotherapist and oculist, Milano, member of the professorial board of the European School AMISI, Milano;
  • Dr. Luigi Ravagnati, neurologist; assistant for neuro-surgery at the University of Milan, member of the professors' board of the European School of Hypnotic Psychotherapy AMISI, Milan
  • Dr. Marianna Bolko, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, instructor for specialization in psychotherapy at the University of Bologna.
  • Dr. Virginio Nava, psychiatrist; head doctor at Como Psychiatric Hospital.
  • Dr. Rosanna Constantini, psychologist, instructor at Auxilium University, Rome.
  • Dr. Fabio Alberghina, medical internist.
  • Dr. Giovanni Li Rosi, gynaecologist at Varese Hospital and specialist for hypnotic psychotherapy, AMISI, Milan.
  • Dr. Gaetano Perriconi, internist at FBF Hospital in Erbi/Como.
  • Prof. Massimo Pagani, medical internist, professor of internal medicine at the University of Milan.
  • Dr. Gabriella Raffaelli, scientific secretary;
  • Fiorella Gagliardi, secretary, community assistant.

The following tests were used on the subjects to investigate their actual psychophysical and psychological situation:

  • Complete case history,
  • Medical case history,
  • MMPI, EPI, MHQ; Tree test, Person test, Raven Matrixes, Rorschach Test, Hand test, Valsecchi truth and lie detection test;
  • Neurological visit,
  • Computerized polygraph (skin electrical activity; peripheral cardiac capillary and heartbeat activities; skeletal and diaphragmatic pneumography) during the apparitional experience, during mediated hypnotic recall of the same apparitional experience.
  • Holter's arterial pressure dynamic registration.
  • Holter's electro-cardiographic /respiratory dynamic registration.
  • Pupillary reflexes (photomotor) and winking reflex
  • Video tapes
  • Photographs.
Scientific Research on Visionaries

For all the tests performed the visionaries made their decision with full freedom, readiness and collaboration.

The results from these psychological-diagnostic investigations show that:

During the period since age 17, from the beginning of their apparitional experiences, the subjects do not exhibit any kind of pathological symptoms like trance interference, disassociate interference and loss of reality interference.

All subjects investigated, however, exhibited symptoms that are related to justified stress that occurs through very high levels of exogenous and endogenous stimulation as a consequence of every day life.

From their personal testimonies it follows that the initial and subsequent altered state of consciousness occurs due to their unusual experiences which they themselves recognize and define and still continuously recognize as a vision/apparition of Our Lady.

The psychophysical investigation was carried out on four states of consciousness:

  • Waking state;
  • Altered state of consciousness (hypnosis with investigation of the state of ecstasy);
  • State of visualization of mental images;
  • Altered state of consciousness (defined as the ecstasy of apparition).

The aim was to investigate whether the ecstatic state of apparition, already registered in 1985 by the Italian doctors working group, still continues to be present or has undergone changes. In addition it was desired to investigate potential coincidence/divergence with other states off consciousness such as guided visualization or hypnosis.

Results of the investigation carried out demonstrate that the ecstatic phenomenology can be compared to the one from 1985 with somewhat less intensity.

The hypnotically induced state of ecstasy did not cause the phenomenology of spontaneous experiences and therefore it can be deduced that the ecstatic states of spontaneous apparitions were not states of hypnotic trance.

Capiago Intimiano, December 12, 1998


Fr. Andreas Resch, Dr. Giorgio Gagliardi, Dr. Marco Margnelli, Dr. Marianna Bolko, Dr. Gabriella Raffaelli.

Are the Apparitions of Medjugorje Real? article in Journal of Scientific Exploration

James Paul Pandarakalam, Department of Psychiatry Soho House, 362 Soho Road, Handsworth, Birmingham B21 9QL, UK; 6 Fountain Lane, Barming, Maidstone, Kent ME16 9AR, UK

This article presents the history of six young healthy adults experiencing an apparition on a daily basis over a prolonged period. The medical tests suggest that there is objective and subjective or nonobjective visionary experience. There is partial and variable disconnection from the outside world at the time of apparitional experience, and sensations travel in a normal manner to the brain of the Medjugorje seers, but the findings of evoked auditory potential tests and screening tests show that the cerebral cortex does not perceive the transmission of the auditory and visual neuronal stimuli received from the immediate environment. Electro-oculographic recording confirms that their eyes are converging at the same point. There are both normal and altered physiological parameters. There is a cluster of synchronisms suggesting objectivity. Complementary psychological and parapsychological observations are presented. There is no evidence to suggest the probability of autohypnosis. The collective percipience, stronger motivation on the part of the apparition, quasiphysical features of the apparition, integration of the apprearer to the natural environment, utmost loyalty and obedience of the percipients to the agent, and controlled "psychokinetic-like" manifestations point toward a true apparition at Medjugorje. The voice phenomenon observed at the time of the Medjugorje apparitional experience is reported in other sites of Marian apparition and not in any other religious or paranormal phenomenon.

Keywords: apparitional experience, voice phenomenon, dual modes of perception, superior psychokinetic-like power

FULL TEXT: pdf Are the Apparitions of Medjugorje Real?


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