Filip – Zagreb, Croatia

The first time I came here was when I was 17 or 18. I was in high school. Before that, I did not know much about Medjugorje. But I was kind of exploring myself spiritually so I wanted to go and see what this is all about even though I would not consider myself as being Catholic back then.

At that age, I didn’t hear much about Medjugorje amongst my friends. People knew about it but were making fun of it especially if they were not religious. If you had some religious friends, you would know they probably went there.

When I came to Medjugorje, I was very open minded even though I was interested in some other spiritual things, like new age or positive psychology. I already knew how to meditate. I was very open to see other religions and to learn about them. 

I was open minded to apparitions being possible. I believed in miracles.

The things that I was interested in, spirituality and all these things, they always mention God so I could never avoid God, but I kind of wanted to avoid Him. Then I realized I cannot avoid God. I need to know Him. I realized God is good. 

I started learning about religions. I started with Christianity because I come from a Christian country. The first time I read the Bible, was after visiting Medjugorje actually. I’d read a little every night before I went to sleep. It was very exciting because I gained a lot of knowledge. I was very happy going to sleep reading the Bible. I investigated, asking questions about it and so on. 

In the end, Medjugorje had a big influence on my worldview and the philosophy that I adopted at that time. 

After that, I changed myself. I started going to church more often. 

Compared to my first trip, coming back here is different because then I was Medjugorje innocent. It was the first time and everything was so nice. I will probably never get to feel that again. Even though you come back to try to experience that again, it never happens like the first time. It’s different. 

I go to Mass and I try to climb as much as I can because I enjoy climbing. It’s sort of like a sport. I just walked the path of the cross. We stopped at the stations of the cross and prayed at each stop.

At the moment, I’m working with my dad, for our family company, to sell my father’s book.

My father was writing about the Vatican, religion, politics, bishops, cardinals, everything related to the church. That was his specialization. Then he kind of changed. Medjugorje had a big influence on his personal faith.

The book took approximately two or three years to put the book together. It is about the first seven days of the apparitions in Medjugorje. It’s a reconstruction of the events of those first seven days which are deemed by the Vatican as valid and legitimate. They did not confirm all of the apparitions of Medjugorje, but for the first seven days they said, “Okay we can confirm the children were not manipulated here,” so my father decided to write a book about the first seven days. He talked with all the visionaries, some locals, had access to some documents that no one ever had.

Link to the First Seven Days book: