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Medjugorje is a small town in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina, inhabited by ethnic Croats. This small town is located not far from the Croatian border and a few tens of kilometers from the historic city of Mostar. The town is located in a flat area, surrounded by hills, at an altitude of about 200 meters above sea level.
THE MARIAN APPARITIONS OF MEDJUGORJE
This small village hit the headlines starting on June 24, 1981, when a group of six boys (Vicka, Mirijana, Marija, Ivan, Ivanka and Jakov, who were then aged between 10 and 16), began to claim to have apparitions of Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mother of God.
The first apparition, on June 24, 1981, took place along the path of Mount Podbrdo, and four young boys and girls were witnesses: Mirjana Dragicevic, Ivanka Ivankovic, Vicka Ivankovic, and Ivan Dragicevic, to whom Marija Pavlovic and Jakov Colo joined the following day. To this day the visionaries continue to have visions of the Our Lady.
Although the church has not yet officially ruled on the veracity of the apparitions in Medjugorje, the small town since 1981 has become one of the most famous Christian pilgrimage sites in the world. Over 5 million people visit Medjugorje every year. Today Medjugorje rivals historical European Marian pilgrimage sites such as Lourdes in the French Pyrenees and Fatima in Portugal in number of pilgrims.
The places that pilgrims frequent and visit during their pilgrimage to Medjugorje are mainly three. The first is the parish church of San James (sv. Jakova). The second is Mount Podbrdo, which is the site of the first apparitions. Finally, the third place is Mount Križevac, a mountain about 500 meters high which dominates the town of Medjugorje and which is dominated by a large cross built between 1933 and 1934.