Medjugorje, a village that was unknown until 1981, has become the most visited Marian shrine in the world. Six young people from the parish have had the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary since June 24, 1981. The apparitions have continued since that time on a daily basis. After that day, millions of pilgrims from the whole world have been visiting Medjugorje, called on by the Queen of Peace, who brings a renewal of their spirits by giving them peace and love.
The parish of Medjugorje, which is situated south-west of Mostar, was founded in 1892 and dedicated to St. James the Apostle, the protector of pilgrims. In historical documents, the village was mentioned in 1599 for the first time.
The construction of the old parish church was completed in 1897. It was a spacious and beautiful construction for its time. Built on unstable ground, it soon started to develop fissures. Immediately after the end of the World War I, the parishioners began to think about building a new church. The construction lasted from 1934 until January 19, 1969, when it was consecrated. Until June 24, 1981, Medjugorje lived the life of other villages of the area: people were cultivating land, planting tobacco and wine grape, producing wine and vegetables. Many of them were departing to overseas and west European countries, as well as to cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.
Medjugorje has become a special place of prayer, conversion and peace. Since the apparitions began, millions of pilgrims from all over the world have been visiting Medjugorje and many of them have testified that they have found faith and peace there.
Today, Medjugorje is compared with the famous places of the apparitions of Our Lady in the 20th century – Lourdes and Fatima.
In Medjugorje, pilgrims go to the church of St James, Podbrdo (the hill of the first apparitions in Medjugorje) and Krizevac (the hill of the cross).