Over the years people questioned the visionaries of Medjugorje about Our Lady’s appearance, but the most successful inquirer by far was the author, Fr. Janko Bubalo, a Franciscan of the Hercegovinian province.
He had followed the events associated with the apparitions from the beginning. For a number of years he heard confessions in Medjugorje and acquired an intimate knowledge of Medjugorje spirituality. One result of his interest is his book A Thousand Encounters with the Blessed Virgin Mary in Medjugorje (1985). It met with worldwide success and received a reward. In this book Vicka, the visionary, in answer to Fr. Bubalo’s questions, gives a detailed account of her encounters with Our Blessed Lady. It is true that Fr. Bubalo had interviews with the other visionaries, but in the end decided to publish only the conversations he had with Vicka, because it seemed to him that she answered his questions in the most comprehensive way. Besides, what the other visionaries had to say did not differ essentially from Vicka’s accounts.
Time has passed and attempts at portraying Our Lady as she appears at Medjugorje have multiplied. Many of these attempts diverged from the description given by the visionaries, so in order to prevent from further confusion, Fr. Bubalo, though now advanced in years (he was born in 1913), sent a questionnaire to all the visionaries in which he asked them to supply answers to a number of questions relating to Our Lady’s appearance. Five of the six visionaries responded to Fr. Bubalo appeal and signed their completed questionnaire forms at Humac in 1992. These five were Ivan Dragićević, Vicka Ivanković, Marija Pavlović, Ivanka Ivanković and Mirjana Dragićević. Because of circumstances, the sixth visionary, Jakov Čolo was unable to return his questionnaire form, but he agreed with what the other visionaries said, and had nothing to add to their accounts.
We now present the questions in full and the results of the visionaries' brief answers.
1. As the first thing, tell me: how tall is the Madonna that you regularly see? About 165 cm - Like me. (Vicka) [5 feet 5 inches]
2. Does she look rather "slender", slim or . . .? She looks rather slender.
3. About how many kilograms do you think she weighs? About 60 kilograms (132 pounds).
4. About how old do you think she is? From 18 to 20 years old.
5. When she is with the Child Jesus does she look older? She looks as usual - she looks the same.
6. When Our Lady is with you is she always standing or . . . Always standing.
7. On what is she standing? On some little cloud.
8. What colour is that little cloud? The cloud is a whitish color.
9. Have you ever seen her kneel? Never! (Vicka, Ivan, Ivanka. . .)
10. Naturally your Madonna also has her own face. How does it look: round or rather long - oval? It's rather long - oval - normal.
11. What colour is her face? Normal - rather light - rosy cheeks.
12. What colour is her brow? Normal - mainly light like her face.
13. What kind of lips does Our Lady have - rather thick or thin? Normal - beautiful - they are more thin.
14. What colour are they? Reddish - natural colour.
15. Does Our Lady have any dimples, as we people usually have? Ordinarily she doesn't - perhaps a little, if she smiles. (Mirjana)
16. Is there some pleasant smile ordinarily noticeable on her countenance? Maybe - more like some indescribable gentleness - there's a smile visible as if somehow under her skin. (Vicka)
17. What is the colour of Our Lady's eyes? Her eyes are wonderful! Clearly blue. (all)
18. Are they rather big or . . .? More normal - maybe a little bit bigger. (Marija)
19. How are her eyelashes? Delicate - normal.
20. What colour are her eyelashes? Normal - no special colour.
21. Are they thinner or . . .? Ordinary - normal.
22. Of course, Our Lady also has a nose. What is it like: sharp or . . .? A nice, little nose (Mirjana) - normal, harmonizing with her face. (Marija)
23. And Our Lady's eyebrows? Her eyebrows are thin - normal - more of a black colour.
24. How is your Madonna dressed? She is clothed in a simple woman's dress.
25. What colour is her dress? Her dress is grey - maybe a little bluish-grey. (Mirjana)
26. Is the dress tight-fitting or does it fall freely? It falls freely.
27. How far down does her dress reach? All the way down to the little cloud on which she's standing - it blends into the cloud.
28. How far up around the neck? Normally - up to the beginning of her neck.
29. Is a part of Our Lady's neck visible? Her neck is visible, but nothing of her bosom is visible.
30. How far do her sleeves reach? Up to her palms.
31. Is Our Lady's dress hemmed with anything? No, not with anything.
32. Is there anything pulled in or tied around Our Lady's waist? No, there's nothing.
33. On the body of the Madonna that you see, is her femininity noticeable? Of course it's noticeable! But nothing specially. (Vicka)
34. Is there anything else on Our Lady besides this dress described? She has a veil on her head.
35. What colour is that veil? The veil is a white colour.
36. Pure white or . . .? Pure white.
37. How much of her does the veil cover? It covers her head, shoulders and complete body from the back and from the sides.
38. How far down does it reach? It reaches down to the little cloud, also like her dress.
39. How far does it cover in front? It covers from the back and from the sides.
40. Does the veil look firmer, thicker than Our Lady's dress? No it doesn't - it's similar to the dress.
41. Is there any kind of jewellery on her? There is no kind of jewellery.
42. Is the veil trimmed with anything at the ends? Not with anything.
43. Does Our Lady have any kind of ornament at all? She has no kind.
44. For example, on her head or around the head? Yes - she has a crown of stars on her head.
45. Are there always stars around her head? Ordinarily there are - there always are. (Vicka)
46. For example, when she appears with Jesus? She's the same way.
47. How many stars are there? There are twelve of them.
48. What colour are they? Golden - gold colour.
49. Are they in any way connected with each other? They are connected with something - so that can stay up. (Vicka)
50. Is a little bit of Our Lady's hair visible? A little bit of her hair is visible.
51. Where do you see it? A little above her forehead - from under the veil - from the left side.
52. What colour is it? Its black.
53. Is either of Our Lady's ears ever visible? No, they are never visible.
54. How is that? Well, the veil covers her ears.
55. What is Our Lady usually looking at during the apparition? Usually she is looking at us - sometimes at something else, at what she's showing.
56. How does Our Lady hold her hands? Her hands are free, relaxed, extended.
57. When does she hold her hands folded? Almost never - maybe sometimes at the "Glory be".
58. Does she ever move, gesture with her hands during the apparitions? She does not gesture, except when she shows something.
59. Which way are her palms turned when her hands are extended? Her palms are usually relaxed upwards - her fingers are relaxed in the same way.
60. Are her fingernails then also visible? They are partially visible.
61. How are they - which colour are they? Natural colour – clean-cut fingernails.
62. Have you ever seen Our Lady's legs? No - never - her dress always covers them.
63. Finally, is Our Lady really beautiful, as you have said? Well, really we haven't told you anything about that - her beauty cannot be described - it is not our kind of beauty - that is something ethereal - something heavenly - something that we'll only see in Paradise - and then only to a certain degree.