Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Queen Of Peace: The Medjugorje Documentary

If you have been thinking about a pilgrimage to Medjugorje and wondering what to expect, today's post is definitely for you. The Queen of Peace documentary is one of "the" resources that thoroughly explains the pilgrimage experience. Whether you have been called to go to Medjugorje by Our Lady or you just want to know more about these apparitions, I highly recommend this documentary. The Queen of Peace was filmed and edited by Christina Georgotas of Bambiina Productions and is available for purchase on line at Medjfilms.com. In the words of Wayne Weibleone of Medjugorje's most well known pilgrims and author on the subject matter, the Queen of Peace is a "must see documentary." 

This documentary is for all who have been called by Our Lady to make the pilgrimage: those diagnosed with cancer or some other serious sickness; those discerning a vocation; those in need of emotional, physical and spiritual healing; those who are facing a crisis; searching souls; skeptics; agnostics; and those who need to "recharge their spiritual battery," and strengthen their faith.

The Queen of Peace documentary captures so much of what each pilgrim can look forward to each day in Medjugorje, most of which is a frequent reoccurrence and forms part of a daily retreat: praying at Apparition Hill (Brdo Ukazanja), climbing Cross Mountain (Križevac), the Blue Crosses, the Daily Prayer Program that includes morning Mass in English, confessions available every evening prior to and during the International Mass, Rosary recitation, adoration, Veneration of the Cross and healing prayers. In addition, you may be afforded an opportunity to attend a private audience with one of the visionaries, attend Vicka's talk to pilgrims at the Saint Pope John Paul II orphanage or be apart of a private apparition with one of the visionaries. No matter what your purpose will be in Medjugorje, once there, the common thread that runs through the respective journeys of all pilgrims is the lived experience of receiving the many graces that have been bestowed upon Medjugorje. It won't be long before the words of Saint Pope John Paul II are felt and understood, "Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world."

Chapter One The Introduction: The Most Important Event Occurring In The World

The Introduction is partly a testimonial by Wayne Weible, one of Medjugorje's most widely known and respected pilgrims. It is fitting that Wayne Weible introduce the Queen of Peace, since he too was first introduced to Medjugorje by a film. It was a film that began his own conversion process to Catholicism and life long work for Our Lady. Wayne shares the initial conversion experience as the documentary takes the viewer on a historical and cultural tour of Medjugorje. Wayne ends his introduction with one of the most important things to remember and understand about Medjugorje, "Medjugorje is the culmination of all apparitions, Fatima, Lourdes, of all time; this is a continuation and fulfillment of Fatima. More than thirty years now she will be appearing here, having come almost everyday. This is the most important event occurring in the world."

Chapter Two Mirjana and Ivanka: The First Days of the Apparitions and The Early Years in Yugoslavia

If you have ever wondered what it would be like to experience a private audience with a visionary, this documentary will not disappoint. This chapter begins with a private audience talk by the visionary Mirjana Soldo to pilgrims at her pension. Additionally, there is footage of Ivanka Elez, the first of the visionaries to see Our Lady on Apparition Hill (Brdo Ukazanja), speaking to pilgrims at a general audience talk at the back altar of St. James Church. The use of a spilt screen allows the viewer to obtain a visual of where the events occurred as Ivanka describes those initial moments of the first apparition. The documentary goes back and forth between Mirjana and Ivanka as they both describe that initial encounter with Our Lady, their interaction with each other and the other four visionaries on June 24, 1981.

In addition to Mirjana and Ivanka, the viewer is introduced to the other four visionaries: Marija Lunetti, Jakov Colo, Ivan Dragicevic and Vicka Mijatovic. The viewer gets an opportunity to see the visionaries when they were quite young and what Medjugorje looked like over thirty years ago. 

You might be wondering what Our Lady looks like during the apparitions. All six visionaries have given a description of Her physical appearance. Here is the description given by the visionaries: Our Lady has dark hair, blue eyes, a long grey dress with a white veil; she stands on a small cloud and around her head there is a crown of twelve stars. Our Lady has introduced herself as the Blessed Mother, The Queen of Peace.

One of the most important aspects underlying these apparitions is included in this documentary; that is, although we are living in a time of grace, Our Lady has stated that tribulations are to come. The viewer is also introduced to the ten secrets that Our Lady has given to the visionaries, one of which includes a permanent visible and indestructible sign on Apparition Hill (Brdo Ukazanja), the location of Our Lady's first apparition.

Chapter Three: Medical Testing Performed on the Visionaries

If you are somewhat intrigued by the initial photo display of the trailer, this chapter will surely satisfy that intrigue. That photo is of the visionary Ivanka, prepared with scientific apparatus, prior to an apparition for the purpose of running tests while the actual apparition occurred. These and other types of medical, psychological and scientific tests were frequent occurrences and have made the Medjugorje apparitions the most widely tested apparitions in the history of the Catholic Church. 

Leading this chapter on the discussion of the apparition tests is Daniel Klimek, a scholar and journalist who explains that the extensive testing has made Medjugorje important both on, "...an academic, intellectual level; and it distinguishes Medjugorje from former Marian apparitions." Klimek has written a detailed article on the testing performed on the visionaries which can be read at Mystic Post.com. The details of Klimek's article will certainly help remove any skepticism that anyone may have had regarding these apparitions. At a very minimum, no one will be able to put forth a compelling argument that the apparitions are false or fraudulent.

Klimek explains how several international medical teams from France, Italy, Canada, England, United States, Germany and Austria went to Medjugorje, some of whom for the purpose to discredit the apparitions. All efforts have proven to be unsuccessful. Citing several tests that have used very advanced technologies, Klimek states that the tests verified the visionaries were not experiencing an epilepsy, sleep or dream state or hallucinations. Another test he cited was one that measured pain. The visionaries responded properly to minor pain at sensitive parts of the body, whereas when they were experiencing the apparitions, they did not respond at all. Polygraph tests have also been conducted against possible deception and fraud; none of the visionaries failed any of their tests.

Klimek concludes this segment with the statement that scientists have been baffled by the tests and have realized that the visionaries have been experiencing profound ecstatic states that scientists do not understand.

Chapter Four: Messages of the Queen of Peace

This chapter begins with the visionary Marija at a very young age, providing the viewer with an introduction to the apparitions. The chapter then captures two orientations in progress: one on a coach bus coming from the respective airport location driving into Medjugorje and the other, in Medjugorje outside of St. James Church. When travelling with pilgrimage companies to Medjugorje, orientations as shown in this chapter are a standard include for pilgrims.

At one of these orientations, the guide explains how the third apparition, which is marked by a wooden cross on Apparition Hill (Brdo Ukanzanja), Our Lady communicated Her first message to Marija on Friday, June 26, 1981,  "Peace, Peace, Peace! Be reconciled! Only Peace. Make your peace with God and among yourselves. For that, it is necessary to believe, to pray, to fast, and to go to confession." The chapter continues with selected messages from Our Lady over the years. I do not think that enough can be said with respect to the importance of Our Lady's messages and this chapter certainly stresses that. If you have yet to discover and read the messages, a web site dedicated to Medjugorje provides the complete list from 1981 to present day. Please visit Medjugorje.org's Our Lady's Messages.

Chapters Five To Twelve

This documentary is so rich in its content that to provide details on each would require several blog posts. To give you an idea of what awaits those who purchase this DVD, here is a list of what the other chapters include:

  • Chapter Five - Tim Haley's Testimony: A Conversion Story
  • Chapter Six - Alberto Moreno's Testimony: God's Love
  • Chapter Seven - Miraculous Physical Healings
  • Chapter Eight - Artie Boyle's Testimony: Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma
  • Chapter Nine - The Beauty of Our Lady
  • Chapter Ten - Mirjana's Monthly Apparition
  • Chapter Eleven - The Secrets
  • Chapter Twelve - Medjugorje Through the Years: Are you Listening?

Chapter Thirteen: Wrap-Up The Continuation and Fulfillment of Fatima

The concluded six minutes contains some of the most important information regarding what Medjugorje is all about. Below are some of the details included in this final chapter:
  • Mirjana Soldo - The documentary films her at her pension where she explains that Our Lady is the mother of all of us. When Our Lady addresses the visionaries, it is not specific to any one individual. Rather Our Lady always addresses the visionaries as "Dear Children," which is to be understand as an address to the entire world.
  • Medjugorje Guide "Miki" - He explains the message of hope for the world. He states, "Let us pray for our families, let us pray for our children because there is hope; with prayers and fasting, you can achieve anything; even wars can be stopped." 
  • Vicka Mijatovic - A particularly interesting segment where Vicka talks about Our Lady's messages first, as a young woman in Croatian during a film interview, and then many years later in Italian during her usual general audience at the Saint Pope John Paul II orphanage. 
  • Artie Boyle - He explains Our Lady's "little stones," Her five main messages: Pray with the heart, the Rosary everyday; Eucharist; Holy Bible; Fasting; Monthly Confession
  • Wayne Weible - He appeals to young people, that they need to know that God is very real. Drawing from his own personal conversion experience, he explains that at some point in the lives of young people, there is going to be that moment, just as it came to Wayne, where they are going to realize God is real. Their hearts will be opened and only then will they be able to discern and understand what is going in Medjugorje. He reiterates how Medjugorje is the most important event occurring in the world; that Medjugorje is the culmination of all other Marian apparitions, the continuation and fulfillment of Fatima. Reinforcing this point the documentary shows a segment from Mirjana's interview in which she quotes Our Lady, "What I started in Fatima, I will finish in Medjugorje, my heart will triumph."
I can tell you from my own experience, that prior to going to Medjugorje, I had watched this documentary and it proved to be pivotal in helping me to understand Medjugorje and anticipate what to expect during my pilgrimage. This documentary is an encouragement for all those who have been called by Our Lady and perfectly captures why Medjugorje is hope for the world.

Our Lady Queen of Peace, pray for us.

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