Pilgrimages Of Europe: Medjugorje, Bosnia (1995)
Pilgrimages are as old as mankind. The mystical and spiritual nature of a pilgrimage holds an eternal, mythic appeal to the imagination of many people. Every year millions of pilgrims of all nationalities, young and old, set out on these voyages of the soul. The mystical and spiritual nature of a pilgrimage holds an eternal, mythic appeal to the imagination of many people. Every year millions of pilgrims of all nationalities, young and old, set out on these voyages of the soul. The twelve documentaries in the Pilgrimages of Europe collection are experiential journeys to some of the most sacred routes and holy places throughout Christian Europe. Each half-hour documentary, richly filmed, looks at the spiritual, cultural and historical background of an important pilgrimage sites throughout Europe. However, the people, the pilgrims themselves, are at the heart of these stories – their purposes and desires, their motivations, and the great sense of the holy and the sacred which they find on their journeys of faith.
On June 24th, 1981, two young girls hiked up the mountain behind their house in search of sheep, in the small village of Medjugorje, in former Yugoslavia. Suddenly they were overcome by a huge display of light and color, and the Virgin Mary appeared before them. Shocked and fearful, they ran back down the mountain to fetch their friends. Six youngsters then returned to the mountain where they witnessed the apparition once again. Medjugorje is in that part of Yugoslavia now called Bosnia-Hercegovina, a region destroyed by the civil war. It is a miracle that the village itself is still intact, without doubt a sign of Mary’s continual presence, and of her message of peace. Pilgrims now come here from every corner of the globe. Vicka, one of the children to whom the Virgin appeared, still lives in one of the hamlets near Medjugorje, and several times a week she emerges from her home to address the pilgrims.
On June 4, 2008, before a regular Wednesday general audience, Pope Benedict XVI blessed a statue of Our Lady of Medugorje in Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City. However, the phenomenon is not officially approved by the Catholic Church. In March 2010, the Holy See announced that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was forming an investigative commission, composed of bishops, theologians, and other experts, under the leadership of Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Pope's former Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome. The Commission is expected to report any findings to the Congregation, which has responsibility for any possible judgment on the case.