Religious fervour: Medjugorje visionary visits RDS
AT EXACTLY 4.40pm Irish time, Vicka Mijatovic, known as the smiling visionary, fell to her knees in front of a 2,000-strong crowd in the RDS in Dublin.
“When I kneel down you will know that Mary is really among us,” Ms Mijatovic told the attendees before clasping her hands in prayer, rocking back and dropping heavily to her knees.
The eldest of the six Medjugorje visionaries, Ms Mijatovic was just 16 when Our Lady is alleged to have appeared to her and five other children on June 25th, 1981. She claims to be visited by the Virgin Mary at 5.40pm local Bosnian time – 4.40pm GMT – every day.
As the time drew near, Ms Mijatovic took to the podium, telling the crowd that their pain was a gift from God.
“We need to pray and thank God for this gift, for this pain, for this sorrow and pray to God for the strength to carry on with this gift,” she said.
“Mary came tonight very happy and every night she comes she says hello to her son Jesus.
“The first message is prayer and peace and conversion and confession and fast,” she said.
Participants paid an entry fee of €5 for the event, which was organised by Marian Pilgrimages on the invitation of the Medjugorje Council of Ireland.
Following the event, members of the congregation clamoured at the front of the stage reaching out as she touched their hands and kissed some on the forehead.
One of those who joined the throng was Kathleen Dougan. “She touched my rosary beads; I was lucky,” she said. Asked if she had felt the presence of Mary, she added: “I can still feel her.”
“She had the vision there; you could hear a pin drop. I could feel Marys presence,” Gráinne Ievers from Blackrock said following the event.
Last year the Vatican opened an investigation into reported apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje, southern Bosnia, which have drawn more than 30 million pilgrims and divided the Catholic Church, headed by Italian cardinal Camillo Ruini. The investigation has not yet been concluded.