Apparition Mountain or Mt. Podbrdo
Mount Podbrdo is the name of the “mountain” that Our Lady first appeared on, to the visionaries of Medjugorje. After the apparitions began, it became known as Apparition Mountain. It is a steep and rock-strewn path that ascends to the actual location where Our Lady appears. Tens of millions have climbed this mountain, pilgrims from all over the world, and they tell of experiences that are deeply personal, intimate and life changing through the encounters they have had in prayer with Our Lady, the Queen of Peace, on this barren mountainside. It was from Apparition Mountain where Our Lady first began inviting the world, through the visionaries and the village of Medjugorje, to respond to Her call. There have been literally thousands of apparitions of Our Lady on this mountain—apparitions that continue even to this day.
The Lasting Sign
Our Lady indicated early in the apparitions that God would one day place a “sign” upon Apparition Mountain that would serve as proof to authenticate the apparitions. What has been called the “Lasting Sign” is actually the third out of ten secrets Our Lady gave to the visionaries. It will appear somewhere on Apparition Mountain. The “Lasting Sign” will be permanent, visible, and indestructible, and will remain until the end of time. All six of the visionaries have seen the sign in a vision and describe it as indescribably beautiful. Although Our Lady said that the sign would be given for non-believers, to help them to believe, She also said not to wait for the sign to convert because the sign will come too late for many people.
Before the sign appears, it will be preceded by two events, which will take place in the world. These two events are actually two of the secrets which will serve as warnings, that will profoundly shake people and call them to conversion. These events will be the last call to conversion in this time of grace.
The Wooden Cross
The wooden cross, off to the left of the main path coming down Apparition Mountain, marks the spot of an event that took place between Our Lady and the visionary Marija on June 26th, 1981.
Marija was ahead of the others coming down the mountain after Our Lady had already appeared to the children further up the mountain. She was proceeding downhill, on her way home. Suddenly, she was mysteriously pushed to the side by an unseen force, and immediately afterwards Our Lady appeared, with a bare wooden cross behind Her. Our Lady was in tears and Her voice full of sadness as She spoke this message: “Peace, peace, peace. Be reconciled! Only Peace. Make your peace with God and among yourselves. For that, it is necessary to believe, to pray, to fast, and to go to Confession.” Reconciliation is at the heart of Our Lady’s messages. Peace cannot be achieved without it. Our Lady brought this challenge to a region of the world in which people, for centuries, had not yet discovered the way to live in peace together. The call to peace and reconciliation was, however, a universal call to the whole world.
The Blue Cross
The Blue Cross is located at the base of Apparition Mountain. It is on this site that Our Lady appeared to the visionaries when they were hiding from the communist police in the beginning days of the apparitions. A blue cross was erected to mark the spot of the apparitions, which led to the naming of the site, “Blue Cross.” Ivan and his prayer group have sometimes been meeting at the Blue Cross since the war in the early 1990’s and other times on the original apparition spot, higher above. The apparitions, during these meetings, drew thousands of pilgrims. It became impossible for Ivan and the prayer group to get near to the Blue Cross because of the amount of pilgrims. They would, instead, end up to the right of the cross. After years of apparitions of Our Lady on this spot, another Blue Cross and altar were erected, to mark the actual location of the present apparitions. When you visit this site, you will see the two blue crosses. This area is traditionally a very quiet area, where the peace of Our Lady is powerfully felt, and where many find a place for quiet prayer and solitude. The apparitions, both at the Blue Cross and on the mountain, continue to take place here when Ivan is in Medjugorje during the months between April and September, on Monday and Friday evenings.
Making the most of her time in Medjugorje, a Caritas pilgrim climbs Apparition Mountain barefoot. The smooth rocks dotted amongst the normal rough, sharp stones of the region, testify to the millions of feet that have worn the rocks to a marble-like finish. The richest and the poorest of the world have climbed this mountain, along with every type and class and religion of people, as well as non-believers. To know that your own feet have left their mark on the stones of this Holy Mountain is to feel that all the prayers you once brought to Medjugorje are still lifting up from these stones to Our Lady when She visits the village each evening. It brings comfort and hope and a feeling that Medjugorje is home where your heart is always longing to return.
The word, “POZIV,” in Croatian means a “call”. Our Lady is thankful because we answer Her call. Her call is Her message. In other words,“Thank you for your readiness to live my messages…”. “POZIV” also means “invitation.” The translation of this sentence would then be:“Thank you for having responded to my invitation.”Here again, Our Lady’s invitation is Her message but it is also an invitation to come. The invitation to come is for the visionaries first. They come everyday to the apparition…They are invited by the Blessed Mother on the mountain at night and the visionaries respond to the invitation. “Thank you for coming,”says Our Lady, “and thank you also for the pilgrims who come to Medjugorje, to the Church and to the mountains.”This means it is important to come and this is why the Virgin Mary says,“thank you,” in each message.“Thank you for coming to the spot of the apparitions.”Our Lady is happy to see people in Medjugorje. (From Words from Heaven by A Friend of Medjugorje )