Medjugorje (which means "between the hills"), is a small mountain town located in western Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the Herzegovina region, close to the border of Croatia. Since June 24, 1981, it has become a popular religious pilgrimage due to reports of apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to six local children. This is my second journey to this peaceful place, and once again, it has left me with joy and tranquility and how the magic of nature plays such a major role in any sacred place.
Just before sunrise, we walked to the base of Apparition Hill. It is here on this hill, that the Blessed Virgin Mary or Gospa, as the locals refer to her as, has been appearing to the six children. The visionaries, Ivan, Jakov, Marija, Mirjana, Vicka, and Ivanka, have been receiving messages from Our Lady, in the beginning on a daily basis. Our Lady began to give weekly messages on Thursdays to the parish community in Medjugorje, and through them to the rest of the world. Since some of the things that Our Lord desired were fulfilled, from the 25th of January 1987 onwards, Our Lady would give her monthly message on the 25th of each month. This has continued up until the present.
Crnica Hill is several hundred feet above the neighboring Bijakovici town called Podbrdo, but today called Apparition Hill. The journey to the top is a dangerous path of sharp and jagged limestone. This porous rock dissolves relatively easily by rain, winter ice and the thousands of pilgrims that climb the mountain wearing down the stone over time. This action creates holes and sharp edges. Some people climb the mountain barefoot, perhaps to feel and understand how the pain of life can be transformed through understanding. It is said that the footsteps of pilgrims climbing this hill has worn a "rosary" into the hillside. Indeed, at night, behind St, James' Church, you can see the side of the hill light by lights that show this "path of the rosary."
The "5 Stones" or Messages
In one of her messages, the Virgin Mary suggested that “you put five stones in your sack to overcome the atheism that surrounds us, that paganistic mentality that is being disseminated and seems invincible.” In his article, Father Jozo Zovko, said “neither the Church nor we are capable of conquering materialism on our own. Our Lady has appeared in Medjugorje to declare that this is possible.”
Here are her five stones: prayer, fasting, the Eucharist, the Bible, and Confession. With these simple weapons, we overcome the world. In the book, “Medjugorje, A Testimony,” published in, 1989, the gifts, or the five stones, have not been given to us as a gratuitous perfection, but to develop our spiritual potentialities.
Our Lady insists upon prayer. She wept when she appeared upon Krizevac because Christians no longer pray. Her tears are a medication for you; they fall upon your heart made of stone to transform it. Our Lady tells us that to pray means to live as the Church lives.
The second gift, another stone in your sack, is fasting: from cigarettes, from television, from an evil thought, from a negative project, and from food. Fasting demonstrates your individual capacity to love and affirms that you are important for everyone. Our weakness is nothing if we possess the ability to love. Even our own physical sufferings, if offered to the Lord, are a gift.
The Eucharist is the third stone. In May, Our Lady admonished us, “You do not know how to live the Mass.” The Mass is not simply a rite; it is a mystery and a gift of the Lord. It is a sacrament which cannot be comprehended without humility.
The Bible which illuminates the path in the dense fog of ideologies is the fourth stone for the believer of today. It must be the source of our prayer. The Bible illuminates a person's walk amid doubt and conflicting ideologies today.
Confession is the fifth stone. Our Lady requests monthly confession of us. The purpose of confession is a sacrament and a source of peace with oneself in the meeting with the Lord. A proud person does not know how to confess; humility leads to confession and conversion.
The 5 Physical Stones or Crystals
It is also no coincidence that stones play a central role in Medjugorje. They are the main attraction on the mountain, and because of this, the stones and soil of Apparition Hill are hands picked and made into beautiful rosaries, peace chaplets, and decade bracelets. Real pieces of stone are available along the streets leading to the parish church. These healing tools can all be relevant to help one bring themselves closer to the goal of reaching heaven or a new spiritual place.
This is an assisting stone used to enhance healing properties, encourages purification, reminds us of our innocence, grounds and centers us and entices positive thoughts. Due to its grounding makeup of clay, sand, organic remains, iron oxide and other materials, many limestones exhibit different colors, especially on weathered surfaces. Therefore, the color of the limestone can help assist with colors of the Auric field and Chakra centers. Red and tan stones for the Base or Root Chakra, orange for the Sacral/Spleen Chakra and so on. Limestone is the root of many crystals including, agate, calcite, dolomite, lapis and Septarian, just to name a few. Therefore, it takes on the metaphysical properties of its additional minerals. This is why limestone is such a multi-dimensional stone.
The Dinaric Alps or Dinarides is a mountain chain which spans from Italy in the northwest, over Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro to Albania in the southeast. The Dinarides are named after Mount Dinara (1,913 m), a prominent peak in the center of the mountain range on the border of Croatia and Bosnia. Dolomite is one of the most prominent stones here. This stone soothes hurt, loneliness, and quells anxiety. Facilitates giving and receiving, generosity, spontaneity, creativity and an energy uplift. This stone encourages charitable actions. It is used for energy alignment, balance, and energy blockage. The lesson this crystal teaches is that “everything happens for a reason.“ This is one of my favorite stones for encouraging original thought. Therefore, it is wonderful for inventors, writers, artists and those looking for a creative spark. On an emotional and spiritual level, it brings stability (due to its calcium content) and is a great stone to use to help soothes grief and sadness on every level.
This cited in Judy Hall's wonderful book, Crystals, and Sacred Sites. Blue Quartz is colored by several minerals including Boulangerite, which happens to be a rare mineral found near Medjugorje. Judy also chose this stone for its spiritual connections. It helps you discover or increase your understanding of your spiritual nature. Has a calming effect upon the mind and stimulates hope. A good healing stone for linking heart with Throat and Brow Chakra to expand self-expression and creativity, plus refining communication skill to new levels. It is a useful stone for anyone going through change. It inspires hope and creativity and helps one in astral travel or out of body experiences. This beautiful blue stone helps to transport you to a peaceful, tranquil space of inner contemplation and soul knowledge.
Blue Lace Agate:
This is my choice for this wonderful association with Medjugorje (or any Marian site), as the white lines or veins of this stone represent the veil of the Virgin Mary as does the blue coloring representing her girdle. Blue Lace Agate helps to focus on the inner source of love within you that transforms and heals all wounds. Contains the qualities of flight, air, movement, and grace. Highly inspirational when working with the inner self. Works well with not only the Throat Chakra but the Heart, Third Eye, and Crown Chakra. This nurturing stone connects one to any power, feminine energy.
This is considered the "stone of heaven." This jewel of wisdom symbolizes insight and discovery. It is said to increase psychic abilities. Azurite activates the Brow and Throat Chakra for more assertive communication and alertness. It allows for quiet, deep access to the subconscious and as a seeing stone offers access to other times, places and lives. Therefore, it is a great stone to assist in astral travel. It is a stone that stimulates creativity, giving access to a fountain of ideas, images, and awareness of things around us. This is a wonderful stone for decisiveness and decision-making. Keep this around when you have important choices to make. It is the stone for deeper insight and seeing truths.
Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac