Luka Balvan | Zlatko Sudac | Frane Franic | Mirjana Dragicevic Soldo | Jakov Colo | Jozo Zovko | Ivan Dragicevic | Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic | Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti

VISIONARY IVAN DRAGICEVIC:
OUR LADY IS NURTURING US WITH LOVE

Twentyseven years ago in a village called Bijakovici among six children who met women of indescribable beauty was Ivan Dragicevic. He didn't realize that meeting will change his entire life and that he will always be with her. Ivan was sixteen years old, pretty shy and unsociable, didn't know that Our Lady can appear and he never heard of neither Fatima nor Lourdes. He worked hard with his parents in tobacco field and was looking forward to holidays so he could play soccer and relax. That Wednesday, on June 24, 1981 at 11 AM he went with his parents to the holy mass.

* Can you tell the readers of "Glas mira" what happened that day?
- After the lunch I went with my friend to play soccer on the field. In the evening we were going home and we met Vicka, Mirjana and Ivanka. Friend of mine asked them where they were going and they said they were trying to find sheep. Mirjana lived in Sarajevo and was visiting grandmother only during summer. Ivanka lived in Mostar and Vicka went to school in Medjugorje so I knew her better. My friend and I went home to change clothes and than we went to Ivanka's place to watch basketball because I didn't have a TV set at the time. After first halftime my friend and I were going home to grab a bite, when we heard somebody calling us from the distance. We couldn't see anybody so we didn't pay attention to it. When we turned around we saw Vicka running and saying: "Come, come and see Our Lady." We didn't believe her, but she was persistent and she seemed totally different than usual. So we went toward the hill. A fear started crawling into us. When we came at the spot, we saw the other two girls. They were facing the hill and were crying as if they couldn't believe what they were seeing. Vicka pointed her hand up, showing us where to look. I looked three times and then noticed Our Lady's image. When I saw her, I ran so fast that I didn't remember how I came home. I didn't say anything to anybody but I couldn't sleep the whole night. I was afraid of the dark, I was scared and was thinking where to run if She comes to my room... I could hardly wait for the morning to come. But by morning my parents already knew that I was there.

* How did they react?
- Very confused, doubtful. They warned me to be careful what we were saying and were afraid that the police could take us away. That was the first shock. Even the priests weren't sure what we saying and I must say neither was I.

* How did you know that it was Our Lady?
- Next day in the afternoon, a lot of people started gathering. When we were getting ready to go to the hill, the ambulance vehicle came and took us to Mostar to see doctor Vujevic. I went to see him first and when I came out there was nobody left in the ambulance station. Everybody went to the hill and my uncle, the ambulance driver, gave me a ride back home. So I wasn't on the hill during the apparition, but Our Lady appeared to me at my home. I can't describe that fear. She came next to me, put her hand on my shoulder and said: "Don't be afraid! I'm your Mother! Don't be afraid of anything!" I asked her who she is because I didn't know and she replied: "I am Blessed Virgin Mary, I am the Queen of peace!"

* Describe to us yours meetings with Our Lady.
- Very simple. Not a single meeting in twentyseven years was the same. It's always a new experience, a new feeling. Caring, maternal love, nurture or a new topic She opens. For every meeting I prepare myself by praying the Rosary. While I pray, as 6:40 PM is coming I can feel her more and more in my heart. I can't see her but I can feel her. When we pray seven Holy Fathers and pray for the apparition, then She appears.

* Do you speak first or Our Lady does? Can you ask questions?
- Conversation with Our Lady goes both ways. Our Lady speaks more than I do. We ask questions and those questions are for the needy, sick or for our families and Our Lady offers help and guidance.

* Many people say it's easy for you because Our Lady leads you. Is there a way for us who can't see Our Lady?
- There is. Our Lady is offering it to us for twentyseven years. Ideal way is to live her messages and to except them. This is the spiritual way during which She wants to renew us so She could lead us to what is ahead.

* Ivan, where does Our Lady appear to you? Is there a special time and place?
- Time and place aren't important. I'm trying to be in the place where I can prepare myself. If I'm traveling by plane or in the car I usually ask her the day before where She will appear to me. She says: "When you come to the place, at 10 PM..."

* How does Our Lady look like?
- It's very hard to describe her with words. When I talk to the people in a large hall, Her large portrait is exhibited, which might be the truest description from all six of us who described it to the artist. But a lot of things should be upgraded and changed. But looking all other images this one shows the most resemblance. When I say She's wearing a gray dress, white veil, crown with stars, black hair and blush cheeks I don't say a lot and don't describe her real beauty. Something else is important: her love, kindness, goodness, her worry for us and our salvation.

* Is Our Lady worried or happy lately because of conversion?
- You can see She's concerned, but She is happy. She wants to encourage us through her happiness. She says to us: "Dear children, this world, this mankind has future but you must change. You must return to God, you have to bring prayers back to your families, you have to start praying with your children, celebrate holy mass, go to confession, you have to bow in front of All Holy sacrament, you have to forgive each other... Our Lady knows we aren't perfect, but it's important to want something, it's important to try.

* You've mentioned that you see Our Lady like any other person, three-dimensionaly. Have you ever touched Her or did She touch you?
- I have. Even my children have touched her. On Christmas, at midnight, when apparition occurred, I took my children in my arms and with their hands I touched Our Lady.

* Do you know why Our Lady has chosen exactly six of you and the parish of Medjugorje? Has She ever told you that?
- When we asked Our Lady why this place, She said that these people were especially loyal, made special sacrifice in those times and had suffered for their faith. I don't really know what was going on at one period because on August 28 I went to the seminary. I came back to Medjugorje in 1983. I spend two years in Visoko and one school year in Dubrovnik. This is why I don't know much about things Our Lady was talking to others.

* You've mentioned seminary, children. Has Our Lady suggested something to you?
- At the time I went to seminary. I found lot of misunderstandings in Visoko and Dubrovnik. Of course, I've counseled with Our Lady what's the best thing to do. She invited me to come back to Medjugorje and said that She will lead me, so here I am and I want Her to keep leading me.

* This might be the occasion to remember Our Lady's messages She gave through Marija on 25th of the month, when She said: "In my humility I bow to your freedom."
- Sure. God and Our Lady gave every person the freedom and they won't take it away. By the freedom I was given, I've chosen the sacrament of family, which is a holy thing. I'm happy in my life and in my marriage.

* Do you know why apparitions last for so long?
- There is definitely a reason for it. Today we can see the world that we live in, but with Her love Our Lady wants to bring us out of the dead alley, to take our hand and bring us in peace to her son. It's true, we have sacraments, Church, Bible, but question is how do we live it in practice? This is the reason why Our Lady is calling us, to be aware of what we have and to start to grow from that.

* Three visionaries, Mirjana, Ivanka and Jakov don't have apparitions on the daily basis any more. They received the last, tenth secret. You received nine secrets and you still have apparitions.
- I received the ninth secret back in 1985 and no more since. Our Lady decides when and how She will tell the secrets. They are related to the world, Church, to the highest level of the Church, parish, visionaries and the sign She will leave. We, the visionaries, converse only about the common secrets.

* The Queen of peace has promised to leave some kind of sign on the Apparition Hill. Do you know what kind of sign it will be?
- I know when it will happen and what it will be.

* What it will be?
- You will see.

* We've heard the sign would be permanent, visible and indestructible. Is this true?
- Yes it is.

* Has Our Lady told you why She appeared to the world?
- All her messages in these twentyseven years are messages of peace, prayer, conversion, humility, fast, strong faith and love.

* Is there some especially important message?
- I would like to point out to the messages of peace and humility. Without peace it's very hard to achieve any other messages, to live them if a man doesn't have peace with himself or there isn't peace in the family. Our Lady invites families to pray the Rosary, to live messages.

* Ivan, you also have a family. How does it perceive you as a visionary?
- During these twentyseven years my life has dramatically changed. There is no school where you can learn what you can learn in the school of peace and love. My wife and I prepared for marriage through Our Lady's messages. We want to transfer all of that to our children - Kristina Marija, Mikael and Daniel. When my wife and I start preparing for prayers at six o'clock, our daughter Kristina Marija already knows that Mimi will come. This is how she calls Our Lady. We ask her if she's got a message for Our Lady, and when she does send a message, even if a single word, it's full of love.

* Does Our Lady criticize you?
- Our Lady never criticizes, She indicates, and better yet She raises us with much love and warmth, showing us what is good.

* She took Vicka and Jakov to Purgatory and Hell and the other visionaries saw it like the movie. They didn't see Hell, just Heaven and Purgatory. Did you see anything?
- I saw only Heaven. When I talk to the people I tell them that with Our Lady I went to Heaven. First of all, She physically took me to Heaven. When I came there, from a small hill I saw the vastness without the limits, where people were walking, singing, wearing blue and white dresses. I was so excited that I couldn't remember everything. It is indescribable beauty, which can't be compared to anything and is very hard to describe with words. I remember Gospel, which says: "Eye didn't see, ear didn't hear, heart didn't wish." This is what I say: if we come, we'll see.

* Are all people in Heaven the same age?
- That's what I forgot to say. When I saw people wandering and praying, there weren't the old ones or the young ones, they were all the same age.

* Has Our Lady ever said where more souls found eternity - in Hell, Heaven or Purgatory?
- Not directly through me.

* How does it feel to be with Our Lady and to watch the sky every day for five, ten, thirty minutes and than to come back to earth and live in reality?
- Sometimes it takes me a couple of hours to come back to reality. It isn't easy to get it out, all feelings are mixed up.

* Each of you visionaries have your own prayer mission. Yours is to pray for young and priests. What does Our Lady tell to young people?
- Our Lady wanted me to pray especially for priests and to work with young people. Today more than ever She asks for family prayers. It's best to teach children how to pray in early age as four year olds. It isn't enough to lead children through life from the age of twelve, it should start from the beginning and continue through the whole life. We shouldn't wait for school to raise them. Our Lady persistently asks for family prayer as the most important thing in the world. Then the priest can build upon what parents started. The base is needed and that is family and family prayer. Our Lady says: "Dear children, each of our families must be a prayer group."

* What can we do for Our Lady and what does She expect from Her people?
- She expects from us in these turbulent times to wake up. She wants us to except message, the happy and good news She's asking us to live. She asks parish and all parishioners to wake up, to rise up and to start excepting what She asks for, so they could change the world. It's important for everyone to except the prayer. Our Lady says: "Dear children, only with return of prayer to your families, spirit of your family can be healed." Today, people are spiritually sick. When they heal spiritually they will heal physically. This is the message for all of us: to spiritually heal.