December 26, 2012 Reported at Spirit Daily.com online newspaper. It came as a jolt: for nearly three decades, the Blessed Mother has been delivering a monthly message to seer Marija Pavlovic of Medjugorje, the famous apparition site in Hercegovina that is currently under Vatican review. Tuesday, for the first time in memory, on Christmas Day, the message, always on the twenty-fifth of the month, came from the Infant she was holding.
It was not the first time she has appeared with Jesus. In fact, the first day of events on June 24, 1981, when Mary materialized on a hillside she appeared to be opening and closing a blanket over her tiny Son as the visionaries approached. He has been seen on special occasions and was once reported by Marija's own father, who claimed to have seen His Face in the apparition's early days. Marija saw the Infant with His mother each Christmas.
But at least to our knowledge, never before has He uttered words, at least not public ones -- and certainly not as the formal monthly message, which for years was translated and distributed by Franciscan priests at the local parish (Saint James).
As reported by a site devoted to the message, "Our Lady came with little Jesus in her arms and she did not give a message, but little Jesus began to speak and said : 'I am your peace, live my commandments.' With a Sign of the Cross, Our Lady and little Jesus blessed us together." (Spoken in Croatian, the words were, "A sam vaš mir, živite moje zapovijedi.")
Beginning on March 1, 1984, Our Lady began giving weekly messages to Medjugorje and the world. On January 25, 1987, Our Lady began giving these messages on the 25th of each month.
Although the Lord has appeared through the centuries to saints and mystics, perhaps most famously Saint Faustina of Poland, it is almost unheard of for Him to deliver messages at a first-tier corporeal apparition, a category that includes such cases as Guadalupe, Lourdes, Fatima, and will add Medjugorje if the Church one day deems it worthy of belief. (A commission reportedly is preparing or has finished a report on the apparitions, with rumors that it will recommend declaring Medjugorje an official shrine, though the apparitions themselves, which are ongoing, will not officially be declared supernatural). Whether such an appearance means a major shift in the apparitions or portends significant events is yet to be seen. It seems surprising and noteworthy.
As one commentator noted, the words echo those in John 14:15: "Peace I bequeath to you, My own peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give, this is My gift to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” (John 14 : 27) Elsewhere in the discourse He says: “If you love me you will keep my commandments.” Just before that are the words, “My little children, I shall not be with you much longer” (John 13 :33)."
At Fatima, the Holy Family -- Mary, Jesus, and Joseph -- were seen by the three visionaries at the final formal apparition on October 13, 1917. But no words were spoken by Him. There too He came as the Infant. Early in the afternoon, after rain clouds parted, Sister Lucia dos Santos reported seeing Our Lady dressed in white with Saint Joseph beside her holding the Infant. Then Lucia saw a sorrowful Mary and an adult Jesus Who looked with pity on the crowd and raised His Hand -- as now reported at Medjugorje -- to bless the pilgrims. This occurred at the time of the great sun miracle -- and concluded the major Fatima events.
Sister Lucia later also said she saw Him in 1925 in her room at a convent in Pontevedra, Portugal, where He accompanied Mary. At that time, the Infant spoke -- telling Lucia to have compassion on His mother's heart, which was pierced by the thorns of ingratitude." The following February Lucia had another remarkable experience in which she saw a mysterious child who referred to the First Saturday devotion. At Knock, Ireland, in 1879, Mary and Joseph were seen in a silent apparition with a lamb on an altar.
Many mystics -- Padre Pio and Maria Esperanza in recent times -- have reported encounters with Christ in less formal settings.
But it is extremely rare for Christ to be part of a formal series of major apparitions. Medjugorje has been visited by tens of millions of pilgrims, hundreds of cardinals and bishops, and tens of thousands of priests (more than a thousand clerics visit during an average month). Four hours before, a second seer, Jakov Colo, received his annual apparition, at which Mary did speak, delivering a message that also related to sin.