Tomislav Vlasic: Mirjana, we have not seen each other for some time, and I would like you to tell me about the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and especially with the events that are connected to you.
Mirjana Dragicevic: I have seen the Blessed Virgin Mary for eighteen months now, and feel I know Her very well. I feel she loves me with Her Motherly love, and so I have been able to ask Her about anything I would like to know. I've asked her to explain some things about Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell that were not clear to me. For example, I asked Her how God can be so unmerciful as to throw people into Hell, to suffer forever. I thought: If a person commits a crime and goes to jail, he stays there for a while and then is forgiven - but to Hell, forever? She told me that souls who go to Hell have ceased thinking favorably of God - have cursed Him, more and more. So they've already become a part of Hell, and choose not to be delivered from it.
Then she told me that there are levels in Purgatory: Levels close to Hell and higher and higher toward Heaven. Most people, she said, think many souls are released from Purgatory into Heaven on All Saints' Day, but most souls are taken into Heaven on Christmas Day.
Tomislav Vlasic: Did you ask why God allows Hell?
Mirjana Dragicevic: No, I did not. But afterward I had a discussion with my aunt, who told me how merciful God is. So I said I would ask the Madonna how God could......
Tomislav Vlasic: According to what you've said, then; It's simple as this: People who oppose God on earth just continue their existence after death, and oppose God in Hell?
Mirjana Dragicevic: Really, I thought if a person goes to Hell....Don't people pray for their salvation? Could God be so unmerciful as not to hear their prayers? Then the Madonna explained it to me. People in Hell do not pray at all; instead, they blame God for everything. In effect, they become one with Hell and they get used to it. They rage against God, and they suffer, but they always refuse to pray to God.
Tomislav Vlasic: To ask Him for salvation?
Mirjana Dragicevic: In Hell, they hate Him even more.
Tomislav Vlasic: As for Purgatory, you say that souls who pray frequently are sometimes allowed to communicate, at least by messages, with people on earth, and that they receive the benefits of prayers said on earth?
Mirjana Dragicevic: Yes. Prayers that are said on earth for souls who have not prayed for their salvation are applied to souls in purgatory who pray for their salvation.
Tomislav Vlasic: Did the Madonna tell you whether many people go to Hell today?
Mirjana Dragicevic: I asked her about that recently, and She said that, today, most people go to purgatory, the next greatest number go to Hell, and only a few go directly to Heaven.
Tomislav Vlasic: Only a few go to Heaven?
Mirjana Dragicevic: Yes only a few - the least number - go to Heaven.
Tomislav Vlasic: Did you ask about the conditions for a person to enter Heaven?
Mirjana Dragicevic: No I didn't; but, we can probably say what they are. God is not looking for great believers but simply for those who respect their faith and live peacefully, without malice, meanness, falsehood.
Tomislav Vlasic: This is your interpretation, your understanding?
Mirjana Dragicevic: Yes. After I talked to the Madonna, I came to that conclusion; No one has to do great miracles or do great penance; merely live a simple, peaceful life.
Tomislav Vlasic: Well, besides Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory, is there anything else new recently?
Mirjana Dragicevic: The Madonna told me that I should tell the people that many in our time judge their faith by their priests. If a priest is not holy, they conclude that there is no God. She said: "You do not go to church to judge the priest, to examine his personal life. You go to church to pray and to hear the word of God from the priest." This must be explained to the people, because many turn away from the faith because of priests.
Today, as it was a long time ago, the Virgin told me God and the devil conversed, and the devil said that people believe in God only when life is good for them. When things turn bad, they cease to believe in God. Then people blame God, or act as if he does not exist. God, therefore, allowed the devil one century in which to exercise an extended power over the world, and the devil chose the twentieth century. Today, as we can see all around us, everyone is dissatisfied; they cannot abide each other. Examples are the number of divorces and abortions. All this, the Madonna said, is the work of the devil.
Tomislav Vlasic: This behavior of people - they're under the influence of the devil. But the devil does not have to be in them?
Mirjana Dragicevic: No, no. The devil is not in them, but they're under the influence of the devil, although he enters into some of them.
To prevent this, at least to some extent, the Madonna said we need communal prayer, family prayer. She stressed the need for family prayer most of all. Also, every family should have at least one sacred object in the house, and houses should be blessed regularly.
She also emphasized the failings of religious people, especially in small villages - for example, here in Medjugorje, where there is separation from Serbians (i.e., Serbian Orthodox) and Moslems. This separation is not good. The Madonna always stresses that there is but one God, and that people have enforced unnatural separation. One cannot truly believe, be a true Christian, if he does not respect other religions as well. You do not really believe in God if you make fun of other religions.
Tomislav Vlasic: What, then, is the role of Jesus Christ, if the Moslem religion is a good religion?
Mirjana Dragicevic: We did not discuss that. She merely explained, and deplored, the lack of religious unity, "especially in the villages." She said that everybody's religion should be respected, and, of course, one's own.
Tomislav Vlasic: Tell me where the devil is especially active today. Did she tell you anything about this? Through whom or what does he manifest himself the most?
Mirjana Dragicevic: Most of all through people of weak character, who are divided within themselves. Such people are everywhere, and they are the easiest for the devil to enter. But he also enters the lives of strong believers - sisters, for example. He would rather "convert" real believers than nonbelievers. How can I explain this? You saw what happened to me. He tries to bring as many believers as possible to himself.
Tomislav Vlasic: Can we suppose, then, that one of you might say that three secrets would be revealed before the great sign appears; then the rest of the secrets will be revealed, one by one? Is there anything to that?
Mirjana Dragicevic: Nothing like that, but something like this. First, some secrets will be revealed - just a few. Then the people will be convinced that the Madonna was here. They will understand the sign. When Jakov said that the mayor will be the first one to run to the hill, he meant that generally people of the highest social class will understand the sign as a place of occasion to convert. They will run to the hill and pray, and they will be forgiven. When I asked the Madonna about unbelievers, She said: "They should be prayed for, and they should pray." But when I asked again, recently, She said: "Let them convert while there is still time." She did not say they should be prayer for.
Tomislav Vlasic: You can say nothing specifically until the moment the Madonna says you can?
Mirjana Dragicevic: Yes
Tomislav Vlasic: What does the Madonna say? Can we prepare ourselves for what will happen?
Mirjana Dragicevic: Yes, prepare! The Madonna said people should prepare themselves spiritually, be ready, and not panic; be reconciled in their souls. They should be ready for the worst, to die tomorrow. They should accept God now so that they will not be afraid. They should accept God, and everything else. No one accepts death easily, but they can be at peace in their souls if they are believers. If they are committed to God, He will accept them.
Tomislav Vlasic: This means total conversion and surrender to God?
Mirjana Dragicevic: Yes
Tomislav Vlasic: After these ten secrets, after these eighteen months of apparitions, what do you tell the people they should do? What do you say to priests, to the Pope and Bishops, without revealing the secrets? What does the Madonna want us to do?
Mirjana Dragicevic: First, I would like to tell you how it was for me at the end, and the.....
Tomislav Vlasic: All right.
Mirjana Dragicevic: Two days before Christmas, the Madonna told me Christmas day would be the last time she would appear to me. (I didn't quite believe this.) On Christmas Day, she stayed with me for forty-five minutes and we talked about many things. We summarized everything that had been said between us. On behalf of many people, I asked what they should do. Then She gave me a very precious gift. She said She would appear to me on my birthday every year for the rest of my life. Also, independently of the sign - and anything else - She said She will appear to me when something very difficult happens - not some everyday difficulty, but something quite grievous. Then, She will come to help me. But now, I have to live without Her physical presence, without Her daily personal visits. I say to all people: Convert! - the same as She said. "Convert while there is time!" Do not abandon God and your faith. Abandon everything else, but not that!
Tomislav Vlasic: What is the greatest danger to mankind? What does it come from?
Mirjana Dragicevic: From godlessness. Nobody believes - hardly anybody. For example, the Madonna told me that the faith in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria is very weak. The people in those countries model themselves on their priests, and if the priests are not good examples, the people fall away and believe there is no God. When I was in Askona I heard of a priest to whom a rich man had left money to build a home for old people, but instead, the priest built a hotel. Now all the people in that city have turned their backs on the faith, because how could a priest not fulfill the last wish of a dying man and, instead, build a hotel and make money for himself? Nevertheless, people must understand that they shouldn't scrutinize a priest's private life, but listen to what he says through God - God's word.
Tomislav Vlasic: Before we finish this interview, is there anything you would like to add?
Mirjana Dragicevic: She said some things that are for me personally. She advised me on various matters. Then She said: "Go in God's peace!"
Tomislav Vlasic: Did She talk to you about the other visionaries and further apparitions?
Mirjana Dragicevic: She told me I am - well, more mature than the others and therefore I must help them, spend time with them and talk with them. This will make things easier for them and for me. We are to understand each other and stay together - united.
Tomislav Vlasic: She did not mention further developments or apparitions, either individually or to all of you as a group?
Mirjana Dragicevic: I think that when each individual learns the tenth secret, she will cease appearing to that person.
This excerpt was taken from book by Svetozar Kraljević, The Apparitions of Our Lady at Međugorje, Franciscan Herald Press, Chicago, 1984
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