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Day 7 - June 30, 1981

Updated: Jun 28, 2021

These days remained troubling for both Fr. Jozo and Fr. Zrinko. Fr. Zrinko put it this way, “It’s as though you see something coming at you, but not sure what it is, what you should be doing about it, or how you can protect yourself. But you know that, whatever it is, it has the power to destroy you.”

As the number in the crowds continued to swell into the thousands each day, the police became more, and more concerned. The communist government, who always has reason to fear when scared that an uprising among the people was beginning to develop and that these “demonstrations”, as they saw them, on the mountain were moving the people toward a revolution. The local authorities, were therefore, getting pressure from Belgrade and Sarajevo, to stop the ‘sedition.’ Their plan was to stop the gatherings on the hillside. Orders went out to the villagers to stop going up the mountain. With those orders came threats. They forced some of the villagers, themselves, to block everyone going up-and if they failed to do so-they’re homes and fields would be confiscated. In a communist country, the greatest threat to a family’s existence was the loss of their home and land. There was no welfare, so you and your family starved. And so some villagers stood with guns and pitchforks blocking the entrance to the mountain, while others refused to allow threats to separate them from the apparitions of Our Lady. They were placed in a position to make a choice.

The communists had also hatched a plan to keep the seers off the mountain this day. They arranged for two social workers, young women near the ages of the older visionaries, both who were known by the visionaries and their families, to offer to take them for a little afternoon excursion. Considering it a relief to get away for a bit, all but Ivan agreed to go. The two girls drove the five other visionaries all throughout the local region. It eventually became apparent to them, that they had been led into a trick, as the social workers prevented the children from being back in time to climb the hill for the apparition. Seeing the hill the visionaries asked the girls to stop the car, but their request was ignored.

Vicka stated, “We already realized while on the road that we made a mistake in going for the outing, for, in the end, it seemed to us that they just took us so that we might not be present for the Virgin…on the way through Cerno, we asked that they stop so that we might pray to the Virgin…It was somewhere about six in the afternoon. When we usually meet with the Virgin… They were somewhat reluctant to stop. They pretended not to hear us. But, when we said we would jump out of the car if they didn’t stop, they stopped. We then got out and went off the road a bit.”

In an interview with Fr. Jozo that took place later that evening Ivanka told what happened next.

“First, we prayed our usual prayers. Then, not thinking about what I was doing, I looked up the hill and saw a light and the light was coming towards us. On the hillside where the people were, they-and everything-were bathed in the light. Those two girls, who had driven them on the trip, saw this. I said: ‘Do you see the light?’ They said: ‘We see it.’ I looked at the light all the time. Then we knelt and sang.”

Mirjana was next: “I asked Her if She was displeased that we had left the hill and gone to the other place. She said that She does not mind... Then we asked if She minds if we do not go to the hill anymore and, instead, to the church. Somehow, She seemed undecided when we asked Her this. Even so, She said that She would not mind.”

Ivanka added that the apparitions would be at the same time.

The visionaries had asked the two social workers to bring them to the parish office after the apparition because they were afraid to go to the hill after having disappointed the thousands who had wanted for them this evening. The police had warned them not to go back to the hill as well. The Visionaries were divided as to what they should do. “…it was awful for us. A large crowd gathered on Podbrdo. They waited for us and the Virgin, and neither us nor the Virgin were there. The poor people! They wait, and wait…but nothing. All kinds of rumors went around: that we ran off somewhere; that they took us off to jail. It was then that they decided to go to Fr. Jozo.

Fr. Jozo learning that they had not been on the mountain that night, began to question them-each one individually and then altogether, until near 9 p.m. at night. Arriving at home, they learned that their parents had been terribly upset, wondering what had happened to their children, if they had been taken by the police, if they had gotten into an accident. They imagined everything possible. And so began the long explanation of their day, not ending until late into the night. As they got into bed, grateful to see the end of this day. But it was not meant to be. News came to them this late night that Marinko had been arrested. Accused and suffering because of them, the visionaries went to find him and though they were unsuccessful, they protested his arrest and told them at the police station… “arrest us if you want, we told them, but leave the Marinko alone.”Having the children gathered there the police let loose upon them a great deal of threats and verbal abuse. Finally, at 2 a.m., they were sent home.

The outcome of this very long, agonizing day was that the apparitions would begin taking place in the Church. The government authorities would be happy to have the crowds off the mountains. “They can pray all day long, and all night too if they want, so long as they don’t do it on the hill. The law makes no provision for worshipping on a hill.” This statement was made by the Chairman of the League of Communists in Citluk. And so ended the seventh day.

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