A few months ago, at the most recent Medjugorje Youth Festival, Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez, one of the six visionaries associated with the apparitions of the Virgin Mary said to be occurring in Bosnia Herzogovina offered an amazing revelation to the Catholic and Christians Pilgrims gathered at the 20th annual Youth Festival. Ivanka shared her thoughts on “”life after this Life” and typical of so many of the “messages” associated with “Medjugorje” the power of the message seemed to come from the simplicity and the directness of the words.
Here, in Ivanka’s own words from her speech at the Youth Festival:
“I would like to greet you all with the most beautiful of greetings: Praised be Jesus and Mary. I am so pleased to be here with you today and even more pleased that you are ready to hear the message of Our Lady.
For 28 years I have been asking God the very same question: Why did you choose me? I know that I was given a great grace and also I know that at the same time I was given a great responsibility.
I have accepted this as a gift but at the same time I have been praying all the time that God gives me strength to fulfil all the assignments he has for me.
I lived with my family at Mostar at that time and as always, after school, I used to come to Medjugorje. This is what happened that day on June 24, 1981 when I saw Our Lady for the first time.
On that day, like every day, I was outside the village with Mirjana and we were waiting for other friends to come. I do not how long we were waiting but we got tired of that and then we started walking towards the houses.
While we were walking towards the village I was really forced by something to look towards the hill and then I saw Our Lady. I said to Mirjana, “Mirjana, I see Our Lady on the hill” but Mirjana said, “ Don’t tell me these foolish things.”
I followed Mirjana who was walking back to the village and then we met Milka, the sister of the visionary Marija. Milka saw that something was wrong with me and she asked me what happened, and I told the girls to come back with me, that I had seen Our Lady. We went back and then all three of us saw Our Lady. Vicka also came to us and then two boys, the two Ivans. The apparition kept calling us but none of us dared to climb the hill.
Our Lady was four or five hundred metres away from us. She kept calling us and emotions we felt in our heart were huge. We felt all kinds of emotions in our heart and none of us dared to get closer to her.
Whoever we told that we saw Our Lady that evening, they did not believe us. They told us not to tell such things. That night was the longest night in my life. I was only 15 and I questioned myself the entire night whether what I saw was true or not.
So the next day at the same hour we went back together to the apparition hill. Before we saw Our Lady we saw the light, three times, and when we finally got to her, I cannot describe that moment of meeting with Our Lady because we felt so much love, felt so secure, so much happiness in our hearts.
When we came to her we saw this most beautiful person, maybe 19 or 20 years of age. She had a crown of stars, white veil, greyish dress, and she was standing on a cloud She had the most beautiful blue eyes and long black hair.
I knew that it was the Blessed Mother You see, two months before that day my mother had passed away. Because I knew in my heart that this was the Blessed Virgin Mary I asked her, “Mother, where is my mother?” And she said, “Do not worry, my child, your mother is with me.”
Our Lady told us, “Do not worry. I’ll pray with you always. I’ll come again tomorrow.”
The word spread very quickly so that on the third day people started following us because they saw something was happening with us, so they gave us holy water to bless the apparition. On that third day when Our Lady came, Vicka blessed her and she said, “If you come from God, stay. But if you do not come from God, please leave us.” And then Our Lady smiled back at us and said, “I am the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace.
On that day Our Lady gave the first public message, which was the message of peace. As the days passed by Our Lady asked us to convert, to fast, to do some penance, to pray and go to confession and attend Holy Mass. These are the main messages of Our Lady of Medjugorje.
From 1981 until 1985 I received the apparitions on a daily basis. During that period Our Lady dictated to me her biography. I wrote everything down. She also told me the future of the world and the future of our Church. When I have permission from Our Lady, this will be published.
On the 7th May, 1985, I had the last daily apparition and that was the longest apparition that I have ever had because Our Lady stayed with me one hour.
On that day Our Lady gave me the final and tenth secret and I was told that I would not have the apparitions on a daily basis anymore, but Our Lady promised me that she was going to appear to me once a year on June 25.
From 1985 to today I received the apparition once every year on June 25. But at that last daily apparition I was given the greatest gift, not just for myself but for the entire world. And because every single human being is asking is there a life after this life on earth, I am standing before you here today, I am standing before the entire world and I can easily answer that question. Yes, there is a life after this life, because by God and Our Lady I was given this great grace, that I was able to see my late mother during that apparition time and my mom told me: “My dear child, I’m proud of you.”
For 28 years Our Lady has been telling us which road we need to take in our life. She is showing us the way and we have to decide which road we are going to take in our life.
Our Lady has given a different mission to each one of us visionaries. My mission is to pray for families. So every day I pray for families.
The last apparition I had was this year on June 25 and that apparition lasted ten minutes and Our Lady spoke to me about the tenth secret and she advised for all of us to become apostles of peace and to pray for peace. Our Lady ended her message with “Peace, peace, peace.”
Let us be reminded in prayer. Let us pray for each other. Our Lady wants us to be be in peace, not to be afraid, to know that she is there for us all of the time.
Finally, when you leave Medjugorje I would like you to take peace and love from Medjugorje back to your home and to your country. Thank you all for everything.”