IN an atmosphere that swung between pious religious ceremony and pop concert, Medjugorje visionary Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic began her tour of Ireland at the RDS yesterday.
It was standing room only in the Shelbourne Hall as over 2,300 people gathered to witness Ms Mijatovic’s daily visionary experience during which she claims to commune directly with the Virgin Mary.
The mainly elderly crowd was not disappointed. Following hymns Ms Mijatovic took her place among nine priests on the stage.
Through a translator she informed the crowd that she would shortly be talking to “our lady” who had recently passed on a message through her that if people “knew how much I loved you would cry for joy.”
The belief that she has a special connection with the mother of Christ has been with Ms Mijatovic for nearly 30 years.
At 16 years old she was the eldest of six child “visionaries” in the Yugoslavia town of Medjugorje, now in western Bosnia and Herzegovina, who on June 25, 1981, believe the virgin Mary appeared to them.
Now married with two children, as well as maintaining a direct relationship with the Virgin Mary, Ms Mijatovic also claims gifts of healing.
Hundreds joined her in the Shelbourne Hall as she kneeled down just after 4.45pm. Eyes fixed upon a plaster statue of the Virgin Mary she seemed deep in conversation, the audience in total silence apart from the odd cry of a child.
Ten minutes later she stood up telling the crowd that if well enough they must fast, only taking bread and water, for two days this week. She added that the Virgin Mary had passed on her love to them but warned that Satan — acting through young people — was attempting to break up families.
Her message completed members of the crowd surged forward, Ms Mijatovic leaning over security men to shake their hands. Following Mass she was similarly mobbed as she made her way to an awaiting car.
Pensioner Joan Harrington, from the Beaumont area of Dublin, said she felt blessed by the Virgin Mary.
In March last year, the Vatican announced that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was forming an investigative commission, composed of bishops, theologians, and other experts to examine the claims of the Medjugorje visionaries. Yesterday it was clear that many of the Catholic faithful have already made up their minds on the truth of their miraculous story.
Tonight Ms Mijatovic is due to appear on RTÉ’s Late, Late Show and at the weekend visit Cork and Kerry.
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