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Pilgrims Flock To Medjugorje For Anniversary

30th Anniversary Of Catholic Shrine In Medjugorjei
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June 26, 2011
On June 25, about 100,000 pilgrims celebrated the 30th anniversary of the first appearance of what are described as apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the southern Bosnian town of Medjugorje. Since 1981, more than 30 million people have visited the shrine.
On June 25, about 100,000 pilgrims celebrated the 30th anniversary of the first appearance of what are described as apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the southern Bosnian town of Medjugorje. Since 1981, more than 40 million people have visited the shrine.

At dawn, pilgrims from around the world, some of them barefoot, climbed a hill above Medjugorje where six children claimed they saw visions of the Virgin Mary in June 1981.

In the village, the pilgrims attended an open-air Mass. Some of them walked on their knees around a statue of the Virgin Mary.

The Medjugorje apparition has been disputed for decades. Unlike Fatima in Portugal or Lourdes in France, the Vatican has not recognized the sightings as authentic and has not formally approved Medjugorje as a shrine site.

Last year, however, it started formally investigating the apparitions that the six claim still occur regularly.

Despite the Vatican's stance, Medjugorje has thrived, becoming one of the wealthiest towns in Bosnia.

Pilgrims never stopped coming, even during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, when heavy fighting between Bosnia's Muslims and Croats raged in nearby Mostar.

-- Nedim Dervisbegovic

WATCH -- A photo gallery of images from Medjugorje:

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by: Yvonne de Anda from: Gilbert, AZ
June 28, 2011 02:09
I was in Medjugorje in early June 2011 and in 2007. I can tell you that my experience there was pure love from our Blessed Mother. My heart and spirit are moved by the people there. I have met 2 of the visionaries and they are humble and giving and most gracious to all pilgrims. I can't wait for my next trip back God willing I will return.

by: WALTER from: ST. CLAIR SHORES ,MICHIGA
July 09, 2011 19:34
I WISH I HAD BEEN ABLE TO BE THERE FOR THE 3OTH ANNIV. I 1ST TRAVELED TO MEDJUGORJE IN 1994 AND WENT BACK EVERY YEAR FOR 11 CONSECUTIVE YEARS. tHE FRUITS OF MEDJUGORJE ARE TOO GOOD TO BE THE WORK OF THE DEVIL AS SOME SAY! I RETIRED 8 YEARS AGO FROM THE USPS AS A LETTER CARRIER AND SPREAD THE WORKS OF MEDJUGORJE TO MANY OF MY PATRONS. MEDJUGORJE IS TRULY A PLACE OF PRAYER. IT HAS MADE ME A BETTER PERSON AND STRONG IN MY FAITH AS A CATHOLIC.. EVERYTIME I WENT BACK I FELT AS THOUGH I WAS VERY CLOSE TO HEAVEN. I KNOW THAT OUR LADY HAD BROUGHT ME BACK TO HER SON!

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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