The commission established by Pope Benedict XVI to study the apparitions of Mary at Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, has voted overwhelmingly to recognise as supernatural the first seven appearances of Mary in 1981. The 17-man commission on Medjugorje was established by Benedict XVI in 2010, and was chaired by Cardinal Camillo Ruini.
Despite the previous lack of formal recognition by the Vatican, pilgrims have flocked to Medjugorje. Since the apparitions began in 1981, an estimated more than 40 million people from all over the world have visited Medjugorje. Thousands of healings and deep conversions have been reported. Pilgrims continue to flock to this very day.
Understanding the Commission’s Report
The Church has a very strict and precise terminology for judging alleged apparitions of Our Lady. According to the norms of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, alleged apparitions are classified in one of three categories:
- Constat de supernaturalitate – It is certain that the events are of supernatural origin.
- Constat de non supernaturalitate – It is certain that the events are not of supernatural origin.
- Non-constat de supernaturalitate – It is not certain that the events are of supernatural origin.
The official ruling of the commission is as follows:
- The first seven apparitions, between the period June 24-July 3, 1981, are declared “Constat de supernaturalitate”: it is certain that the events are of supernatural origin
- The subsequent apparitions (those that occurred after July 3, 1981) are declared “non-constant de supernaturalitate”, which means that it is not certain that the events are of supernatural origin.
While the commission declared the first seven apparitions that occurred between June 24 to July 3, 1981 as worthy of belief and of a supernatural nature, the commission decided to suspend judgement on the thousands of subsequent apparitions that have continued to happen, and still continue up to the present day. This does not mean that the subsequent apparitions after 1981 are “disapproved” or discredited in any way. It only means that the commission members have deemed that it was not possible to make a judgement on the subsequent apparitions.