Ivan's Talk

Ivan Dragicevic's Talk in Medjugorje

(June 3, 2003)

Ivan Dragicevic, one of the six Medjugorje visionaries, gave a talk to the English speaking pilgrims in Medjugorje on June 3, 2003. The meeting was held in the conference hall building behind the main church of St. James. The following is Ivan's entire message, which was transcribed by Teresa Parker, a member of the International Internet Prayer Group (IIPG) - Queen of Peace:

At the beginning of this meeting, I would like to greet you all. And I would like to share with you all the main messages Our Lady has been sharing with us these 22 years. I hope that you understand that it is very difficult for me to share everything that has happened. But I (will) try to share with you the most important things. And let this be the leading points about how we are suppose to live our lives. And I would like to use simple words, the same way Our Lady talks to all of us. Before I start speaking about the messages, I would like to share a few words. The beginning of the apparitions, for me and for my life back in 1981, was a big surprise. Why? Before (the) apparitions, I had never dreamed that something like this could happen. I had never heard anything about apparitions from my parents, I had never read about it. And I had never had any special devotions to Our Lady. I was (a) practical believer, I attended the church, I prayed with (my) parents. And as a child, when I prayed together with my parents, I couldn't wait for the prayer to end. That is the way I was as a child. I don't want you to look at me today as (if) I am perfect or that I am a saint. I am not. I am trying to be better, to be holier, and this is my desire. And this desire is deeply placed in my heart. And it doesn't mean that if I see Our Lady, I feel that I have (an) overnight conversion. I know that my conversion is a long process; the program for my life, for which I have to decide to change on a daily basis. And I have to be open to the Holy Spirit, to be open for It's grace. This is (the) way how I grow in my holiness. To accept the praise word of the Gospel, to have a firm faith, and this is the way we grow in holiness.

But every day, every day in these 22 years, I always wonder, "Mother, why me?" "Mother, couldn't you find anyone better than me?" "Mother, am I going to be able to do everything what you want from me?" "Mother, are you satisfied with me?" I always ask myself these questions. And during one of the apparitions when I was alone with Our Lady, I asked her, "Mother, Why me?" And Our Lady smiled back at me and said, "My dear child, I do not look for the best". Twenty-two years ago Our Lady pointed her finger towards me. I was chosen to become her instrument, (an) instrument in Hers and God's hands. And in these 22 years I've been asking myself, "Mother, why me, why don't you appear to everybody else, everybody would believe you." There wouldn't be the need for me to come and to talk with you, and I would have a lot more time for myself. But of course, all of us are not able to enter into God's plan and to see what exactly God wants from us. But all of us have to be happy because Mother is with us, because She wants to tell us that we are in danger, and that we have to start changing ourselves. And Our Lady wants to lead us towards good. And even when we are not able to see Her, we must be happy. And the Gospa (Mother) is sad. "Blessed are those who cannot see, but believe".

For me and for my life, these apparitions are a great grace, (a great) joy. And it is a joy to be in school with Her, in (the) school of peace, in (the) school of love, in (the) school of prayer. It is a great gift, but at the same time a great responsibility. And I know that I was given by God a lot! But I also know that He wants from me a lot! And believe me it is not easy, and it is not simple, to spend the time with Our Lady everyday, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, sometimes a half an hour. And it is very hard after this time to come back to the life on earth, and just live the life on earth. Sometimes after the apparition, I need a couple hours to come back to the reality of this world. And to be with Our Lady truly means to be in the light of heaven. It means to look at the heaven. And when Our Lady comes here, it looks like She wants to bring us a part of that heaven.

What are the most important messages that Our Lady wants us for? The message of peace, conversion, prayer, prayer of the heart, penance and fasting, firm faith, forgiveness, love, and hope. So these are the most important, essential messages from which Our Lady has been leading us these last 22 years. At the beginning of the apparitions, Our Lady introduces herself as the "Queen of Peace". And Her first words she spoke to us, "Dear children, I have come because I am sent by my Son to help you. Dear children, there must be peace between men, and between men and God. Dear children, peace, peace, peace. Peace must reign. Dear children, there must be peace between men, and between men and God. Dear children, today's world and this mankind are in great danger, and it is in danger of being destroyed by itself." This was the first message.

This was the first message; these were the first words, the words that Our Lady gave to the world through us visionaries. And from these words, we can see what the greatest desire of Our Lady is, that is peace. Mother comes from (the) King of Peace. And who can know better than Her how much peace we need in today's world? How much peace we need in our families, how much peace young people need today, and how much peace we need in our church. Mother comes because She wants to help Her children. She wants to take us out from this struggle. She wants to show us the path on which we are supposed to walk. Today more than ever, and today's world is going through a terrible crisis. And the biggest crisis is the crisis in God, the faith in God. Because people distance themselves from God. Because we turn Him out from our families. We do not pray anymore in our families, there is no love anymore in our families, there are so many divorces, and there are so many destroyed families. And there is no more love between the parents, and children who are far away from their parents. And there are so many abortions and things, which destroy today's families and society. So the morals (are) falling apart among young people.

And Our Mother comes to us. And She wants to lead us out of this darkness, into the light. And She wants to lead us all by hand, and She to lead us all to Her Son, and to peace. But Our Lady says, "Dear children if there is no peace in man's heart, if one has no peace with himself alone, if there is no peace in the families, (then) there is no way to have the peace of the world. That is why my dear children, I invite you, do not talk about the peace, but start living the peace. Do not talk about prayer, but (start) living the prayer. Dear children, in today's world there are too many words, that is why I invite you, and with the return of peace, your family and the world can be healed only. And dear children, today's world is spiritually sick." So this is the diagnosis which was given by Our Mother. But She doesn't give the diagnosis only. But She comes to us and She brings to us the Divine Cure, Cure to us and to our pain. She wants to heal our pain. She wants to put the medicine on our wounds with so much love, so much gentleness, so much motherly warmth. She wants to encourage us. She wants to console us all. And She is the mother who is worried for our salvation; and She wants to lift up this sinful mankind. "Dear children I am with you, I come to you because I want to help you that you have peace. But dear children, it is you that I need. Because it is with you I can reach people. That is why (you must) decide for good, and fight against evil, and fight against sin." Mother uses the simple words, and so many times She repeats, and She never gets tired. (It is) like me. How many times I have repeated these messages I'm sharing with you today, and in the last 22 years, and I am not tired yet. Like Our Mother, She never gets tired, and I learned this from Her. Like all of you mothers here. How many times you tell your children, "Be good, behave yourself, learn, study, don't do this and that, because it is not good." I believe that you have repeated this to your children thousands and thousands of times. And is there a mother here that can say that she is happy? That she says to her child only once, and she never has to repeat herself again. And every mother learns. (she) must learn because Our Lady is trying to teach us towards good, and She wants us to be good.

And Our Mother did not come here to criticize us, to talk to us about the end of the world, and to talk to us about the second arrival of Jesus. She did not come for this. But She comes as a Mother of Hope. And She wants to bring hope to this tired world, tired families, tired church. And Our Lady says, "Dear children, if you are strong, the church is going to be strong as well; but if you are weak, the church is going to be weak. You are the living church. You are the lungs of the church. And dear children, this world, this mankind has (a) future, but you have to start changing yourselves, and you have to come back to God. And you have to make a relationship with God, and a new friendship, and you have to walk with Him towards the future."

And Our Lady invites us to renew the family prayer. And She wants every single family to become the prayer group. And Our Lady has asked from the priests, to form and to lead the prayer groups in our parishes. Our Mother invites us to attend the Holy Mass, and the Holy Mass must become the center of our lives. And I remember well, one encounter with Our Lady, Our Lady said to us, "Dear children, if you have a choice between seeing me, and attending the Holy Mass, do not come to me, but go to church to the Holy Mass." To attend the Holy Mass, it means to believe in Jesus who is given to us in the Holy Mass. We have to open (ourselves) towards Him, we have to give ourselves to Him. Our Lady invites for monthly confession, and She invites us for Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament and for Veneration. And She invites us to pray the rosary with our family members. And She invites us to fast on bread and water on Wednesdays and Fridays. And She wants us to read the Holy Scripture with our families. And in one of Her messages she said, "Dear children, I want the Holy Bible to be in a visible place in your home." And Our Lady does not want the Bible to be a decoration, to pick up the dust in our house. But Our Lady wants from us to accept the words of the Gospel, so that the Gospel becomes the spiritual food in our life. And Our Lady invites us for forgiveness, so that we love each other, so that we can help each other.

And the Mother carries us all in her heart. And She places us all in her heart. And in one of Her messages Our Lady said, "Oh my dear children, if only you knew how much I love you, you would cry for joy". That's how big the love of Mother is, that's how much She loves us. And that is why when She gives her messages, she gives the messages for the whole world. There are no special messages for different countries or different nationalities. When She gives Her messages, She gives the messages for all of Her children. So every message She gives to us starts with the words, "My dear children", because She is mother, because She loves us all, because all of us are very important to Her, because She needs us. There are no abandoned ones; She doesn't look at the color of our skin. She is the Mother of all of us. And She does not want from us to know better what somebody else was supposed to do. But She wants from us to open the doors of our hearts so that we can do the best that we are capable of doing. Not to find and look for mistakes in other people, but to pray for them.

So that is why the message of prayer, together with the message of peace is another very most important message Our Lady gives us. And thousands and thousands of times Our Lady has repeated, "Peace, Peace, Peace." And believe me She never gets tired. And Our Lady wants to change the prayer of the lips to the prayer of the heart. And how does Our Lady teach us to pray; out of love, with love, to pray with all our being. So that our prayer becomes one meaning with Jesus, the conversation with Him! So that the moment when we end the prayer, we leave the prayer filled with the peace and joy. Our Lady knows that we are not perfect. But Our Lady wants us to decide for prayer. And Our Lady wants us to attend the school of prayer, so that we learn in prayer. And I repeat that it is very important to decide for prayer! This is a very simple example. When you want to talk to somebody on the telephone, what is the first thing you have to do? You have to pick up the receiver. So to pick up the receiver, it means to decide for prayer. It means to decide for God. What after that? Then you start dialing the number. So this is the way you enter into prayer. You enter into conversation, and in this conversation, just give everything to God! And during that prayer, just give everything to God, so that you can accept everything from Him. Until we pick up the receiver, we won't be able to start praying. Until we pick up the receiver, nothing else can happen to us. That is why this decision is very important!

In one of Her messages Our Lady said, "Dear children, if you want to attend the school of prayer, you must know there are no weekends in the school of prayer. Dear children if you want to pray better, then you always must pray more. And to pray more is a personal decision. And to pray better is grace; grace given to those who pray more." And today we always say that we do not have time for prayer. We say that we are too busy, that we do not have time to meet with our family members, the children are in school, when we come home we are tired, we have to cook or clean, we have to go to do the shopping. We do not have time for prayer. But Our Lady says in simple words, "Dear children, don't say that you do not have time; time is not the problem, the problem is love. And dear children, when someone loves something, he always finds the time for that. But when you do not love something, you never have the time for that!" That is why Our Lady always invites us so much to pray. She wants to wake us up for prayer; she wants to make us stronger in prayer and faith. And tonight when Our Lady comes to me, I'm going to recommend all of you, all your needs, all your families, all sick people, and all your parishes from where you come, and all your priests.

I see Our Lady the same way that I see you, I talk to Her the same way that I talk to you. I can touch Her. The beauty of Our Lady is very hard to describe in words. I can say that She wears a gray dress, white veil, blue eyes, and rosy cheeks. She has black hair. She always floats on a cloud. And She has a crown of stars. And this painting you see behind me, maybe this is the closest one to the way Our Lady looks like. But I am repeating (that) the human dictionary is too poor to describe the beauty of Our Lady. During one apparition, we asked Our Lady, "Mother, how come that you are so beautiful?" She said, "I am beautiful because I love. My dear children, you must love, then all of you will be beautiful." (Silence) Try. Let us try. Please pray with me. (Ivan bowed his head and led us in an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be).

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