I think this is a discussion that needs to be had. Claims from Medjugorje are regular and constant. Quite amazing things like the sun crashing onto to the earth and drying everyone up (but just there in Medjugorje) to the dancing sun (which I think has been adequately explained scientifically if I'm not mistaken).

Even my Mom's parents (who are Catholic), have their own tales to tell. The most recent one comes from my mom's Dad (a Deacon), who says that one time when they visited Medjugorje, they brought a handful of black rosaries with them (it was a small shipment they had gotten to give away at a mass, but they had left a few back where they live in Connecticut). While in Medjugorje, at one mass, in both of their hands, the rosaries changed from black to gold (they were holding the rosaries; they saw it... according to my grandfather).

I saw one of these rosaries, compared with one they didn't take. They were identical, except the one that had gone to Medjugorje was gold (although I don't know if it was real gold or just gold coloring... I never thought to ask if they got the rosaries tested for such).

My grandparents see no possible explanation other then supernatural. I'm quite aware of the complications of such a conclusion, but, then again, I can think of no other explanation either, and I can rule out dishonesty immediately because I know my grandparents and it is dishonesty they hate more then anything else.

Medjugorje.org

That site is a good site to see what's going on there.

So what is going on there? What is it with Medjugorje that makes believers love this place?

It's odd, too, because whenever I talk to an atheist who's been there, they say "nothing happened. I experienced no miracles, nothing. It's all bunk." Compare that with a believer, who tells stories about miracles and experiences the minute they first enter the place!

For me, it's a strange thing, and it's the one thing that has always puzzled me. I don't believe in a Supernatural, an Afterlife, etc, obviously. But without such an explanation at hand, I'm at a loss when it comes to explaining Medjugorje, even to myself. It can't be supernatural, but what else could it be?

Tags: God, Medjugorje, Miracles, Supernatural

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People who really want something to happen will tend to be more apt to delude themselves.
I've never heard of Medjugorje until you posted this but are you sure that there is no chance it's a case of a situation similar to the one in the famous Hans Christian Andersen story "The Emperor's New Clothes"? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emperor%27s_New_Clothes I read a "penguin emperor" version when I was a kid lol http://www.amazon.com/Emperor-Penguins-Clothes-Picture-Puffins/dp/0... but it's the same idea...

(and well apparently according to that wikipedia article, ""The Emperor’s New Clothes" is loosely based on a story from Libro de Patronio (or Conda Lucanor, 1328–35), a medieval Spanish collection of fifty-one cautionary tales with Arab and Jewish sources by Infante don Juan Manuel (1282–c.1349). Andersen did not know the Spanish original but read the tale in a German translation titled "So ist der Lauf der Welt". The main plot was derived from this version of the original with Andersen giving his tale a universality by setting it in no particular time or place and targeting snobbery.

In the source tale, a king is hoodwinked by weavers who claim to make a suit of clothes invisible to any man not the son of his presumed father. Andersen avoided anything risqué in his work and altered the source tale to direct the focus on courtly pride and intellectual vanity rather than adulterous paternity.")

Because the people who spend their whole lives claiming to be believers/being believers are afraid to say nothing happened because only non-believers experience nothing, might pretend something happen, especially if they truly believe it's happening to everyone else around them but just not them. Like if you KNOW your grandfather never lies, and you hear him marveling at the wonders and saying miracles are happening right now, and you're in Medjugorje with him at the time, then you'd be more apt to claim you too are seeing miracles when really you aren't, and then when more and more people do this and there's the peer pressure of like 50 people around you all apparently experiencing a miracle, you're afraid to say that you're not experiencing it too, for fear that you're really the only one not worthy of a miracle by God and you don't want to admit that or something. Or the thing Reggie said works too. I mean if you're REALLY expecting something to happen then you might just trick yourself into thinking it did and not even realize it didn't, it was just your mind and desires and all playing tricks on you. Also the more you claim that something that didn't happen happened, the more likely you are to begin convincing yourself that it really did happen, and you'll get confused between what was actually the truth. That's my theory anyway.
Reggie and luvtheheaven, thank you for your replies.

It is interesting to me, and luvtheheaven, you have a good point about peer pressure.

I wonder... are scientists studying Medjugorje? Are they even allowed?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Fatima


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_UFO_sightings


An interesting thing pointed out by skeptics is that with the proliferation of cameras, unexplained phenomena in the skies has decreased (cause video can be analyzed and explained). Analysis by impartial viewers does quite a number on a story.
I doubt there are any theists making claims of miracles today that believe in them so much that they think they would pass scientific examination. There would probably be an outcry about it being blasphemous or some nonsense.
Recently there were claims of an impression of Mary on a church's window from where I live. You can bet your ass no selfrespecting clergyman is going to let a scientist get close to a miracle. And of course, they didn't.
One can argue that the faithful should be the first to demand a scientific examination of any miracle claims so they would not be misled. But then again, that would require them to care more about the truth then faith.
I was hoping to spawn a little discussion about my grandparents' rosaries. Like I said, I do not accept the supernatural explanation, but I also find myself woefully agnostic on how it happened, and that actually bothers me a bit.

Reggie, I had never heard that about cameras and the miracles, although it does make sense. However, I can just hear someone of faith saying "well, it's not meant to be viewed by the masses. They're missing the point. It's for the faithful who come to Medjugorje!" *shakes head*

And Jānis, that is, of course, true. 's what sucks most about miraculous claims. People of faith can't really believe in them, otherwise they'd let science all over them. But people of faith know that if science starting investigating the claims, the claims would prove to be bunk.
Delusion is a funny thing. Prove it to me without any reasonable doubt, just show me. I can say i can definiely fly at night as I develop wings but I think they would need proof and not just take my word for it.

To be clear, there is plenty of scientific research done on the medjugorje occurrences.  Actually, the Catholic Church is quite rigorous about such things -- take a look, for example, at the scientific evidence the church has gathered regarding Lourdes, for example.  Of course, I'm certain that you will not accept that evidence -- this is, after all, an atheist web site -- but do not make the mistake of suggesting that the faithful avoid science.  Quite the contrary, the Catholic Church (at least) can be attacked for much, but not for concealing its miraculous events from science.  

I mean this sincerely, and do not wish to criticize (although it will probably be interpreted as such).   It is telling that so many comments below assumed that "believers would not allow science to get near a miracle" when in fact the opposite is true.  Again, you may have alternative explanations, but no one can seriously argue that the Catholic Church avoids scientific inquiry.  The fact that so many did tells me that they did not have the slightest clue regarding what they were commenting about.  And this on a web site purportedly devoted to reason, evidence, skeptical inquiry....  

Hello.  I thought I might be able to offer a perspective of a believer.  I am worried that my thoughts might not be received very well here, but this looked like a respectful discussion, so I thought I would engage.

First, I graduated from state college with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering.  I worked for a global engineering firm for 8 years, then left to pursue entreprenuerial interests for the past 12 years.  I have a wife, two kids, good friends, good job, and at total peace within my marriage and life in general.  I am someone who typically doesn't start a conversation - it seems like to do more listening than speaking.  I am not the one who desires to be at the center of attention, but would rather be on the peripheral.

I just recently visited Medjugorje with my 16 year old son this past August 2013.  I did experience Miracles as did many others, but not because I felt I had to in order to fit in.  I have faith in a perfect God who loves us, but after visiting Medjugorje, I beleive even stronger.  The miracles witnessed by Nathan's grandparents are true.  I have seen these miracles as well.  The messages from Medjugorje are for the whole world, but even moreso, for the non-believers.  From my experiences, it seems like those furthest from God are given the gift of Miracles to a larger extent than the beleivers.  This makes me happy.

Scientific studies have been performed on the visionaries and the one writer is correct, that the Catholic Church invests a tremendous amount of scientific research before authenticating a miracle.  One has to admit that it would be difficult to perpetuate a hoax of this magnitude for 25 years.  I guess one could also say, that it would be difficult to perpetuate a hoax for 2013 years as well, but I reallize many do beleive a fabrication of this magnitude is possible.

According to the prophet Daniel from the Old testament and the Book of Revelations, it seems that we are near the end of time.  Although we don't know the day or time, the evidence of evil and suffering in the world today is at an all time high.  Natural disasters seem to increase every year.  Our national leaders perpetuate hate through weaknesses in our human nature (greed, anger, envy, etc.).  There is a total breakdown of the family and children are having to suffer through divorce and often times absentee parents.  All these things according to the Book of Daniel would indicate that we are on the doorstep.

Through Medjugorje, it seems like God has sent Mary (Mother of Jesus), to reach out through all the suffering and hatred in the world to each of us one last time to help ALL people of the world come to know her Son.  Never in the history of the world have apparitions occurred daily for this many years.  Something special seems to be happening.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this discussion.  Sorry about the long reply.

Here is some additional information on scientific studies performed from Megjugorje.  This was posted on the Medjugorje.org web site.

There have been two major scientific studies done on the visonaries since the apparitions began in Medjugorje on June 25, 1981 by the best scientists in the world. The most recent of which was in 1998. Both drew the same conclusions, which are that the visionaries are healthy mentally and physically, they are not hallucinating, are not lying, and are definitely experiencing something that is beyond our scientific understanding that is unexplainable.

It is also interesting to note that during the experiments, one of the things being monitored was brain activity. Most of us are able to use around 15% of our brain during normal activities. It is facinating to note that at the moment when Our Lady appears, the visionaries brain activity jumps to 100% and stays at this level until Our Lady leaves.

As a personal testimony, having visited Medjugorje almost 80 times over the last 11 years, and personally knowing most of the visionaries, I can say that in my opinion, and without any doubt, the apparitions are authentic. I also want to shift the focus to the "Fruits of Medjugorje". As scripture says: "You will know them by their fruits". There are thousands of documented physical healings and literally countless spiritual healings and conversions that have taken place in Medjugorje over the last 25 years. Please refer to the following documents for the published results of the studies done on the visionaries. http://www.medjugorje.org/science.htm and http://www.medjugorje.org/science3.htm


According to the prophet Daniel from the Old testament and the Book of Revelations, it seems that we are near the end of time.  Although we don't know the day or time, the evidence of evil and suffering in the world today is at an all time high.  Natural disasters seem to increase every year.  Our national leaders perpetuate hate through weaknesses in our human nature (greed, anger, envy, etc.).  There is a total breakdown of the family and children are having to suffer through divorce and often times absentee parents.  All these things according to the Book of Daniel would indicate that we are on the doorstep.

This the typical egocentric doom thinking of the believer. The perfect god made imperfect people just to sort them out for heaven and hell based on how deluded they have managed to become. And the end is near.  Congratulations on your negative contributions to society, the suppression of your intellect and please keep hearing the voices. Oh and there is some Kool-Aid over there on the table.

I just recently visited Medjugorje with my 16 year old son this past August 2013.  I did experience Miracles as did many others, but not because I felt I had to in order to fit in. 

But because you expected miracles and your already miracle primed religious mind found them.
Ever heard of that one saying about how religion is akin to searching in the dark for a black cat that isn't there and still finding it?

I have faith in a perfect God who loves us, but after visiting Medjugorje, I beleive even stronger. 

Ok. Not sure how new you are to all this, but personal experiences don't really hold much water as evidence of things.

The miracles witnessed by Nathan's grandparents are true.  I have seen these miracles as well. 

Read above comment.

The messages from Medjugorje are for the whole world, but even moreso, for the non-believers.

Then why aren't non believers en mass having these visions? How come it seems to be very one sided. If they are meant for us, why not just skip Medjugorje entirely and just, I don't know... Make my computer monitor start leaking chocolate fudge or something?

From my experiences, it seems like those furthest from God are given the gift of Miracles to a larger extent than the beleivers.  This makes me happy.

I'm happy that you're happy, but things that make us happy aren't necessarily true... Getting gifts from Santa Claus made me happy when I was a kid, didn't do much as evidence of him existing though. Hell, if happiness is all it takes, I used to be a Power Ranger!

Scientific studies have been performed on the visionaries and the one writer is correct, that the Catholic Church invests a tremendous amount of scientific research before authenticating a miracle. 

Granted, the church dumps a lot of cash into this stuff, but you gotta keep up appearances for the sheeple. How much 'authenticating' went into the claims of miracle from that disgusting old monster, Teresa? The church ignored testimonies to the contrary from the doctors who were involved with the case AND the father of the child involved, and still called it a true miracle.

One has to admit that it would be difficult to perpetuate a hoax of this magnitude for 25 years. 

You tell that to the church of Scientology!

I guess one could also say, that it would be difficult to perpetuate a hoax for 2013 years as well, but I reallize many do beleive a fabrication of this magnitude is possible.

You said it, not me.

According to the prophet Daniel from the Old testament and the Book of Revelations, it seems that we are near the end of time. Although we don't know the day or time, the evidence of evil and suffering in the world today is at an all time high. 

Evidence of evil and suffering in the world is at an all time high? Are you high? Life expectancy has never been higher, crime is continually dropping in most of the world, the quality of life steadily climbing... And if you are calling natural disasters evil, then you are very deluded.

Natural disasters seem to increase every year. 

Which are perfectly explainable without god or the supernatural.

Our national leaders perpetuate hate through weaknesses in our human nature (greed, anger, envy, etc.). 

Which they have been doing for a very long time, even longer than your bible has been around... Although, nowadays they use your bible as an excuse to promote their brand of hate. Lovely, isn't it.

There is a total breakdown of the family and children are having to suffer through divorce and often times absentee parents.  

Yeah... Wouldn't it be great if we can just go back to the times when we could just murder divorcees and marry off our children to their rapists... That would be swell! But then again, the Catholic church would have to change their policy on priests getting married.

All these things according to the Book of Daniel would indicate that we are on the doorstep.

You wouldn't happen to be Seventh Day Adventist, would you, Mark?

Through Medjugorje, it seems like God has sent Mary (Mother of Jesus), to reach out through all the suffering and hatred in the world to each of us one last time to help ALL people of the world come to know her Son. 

How does making a bunch of random people hallucinate help anyone? Wouldn't it be much more helpful if god, oh, I don't know, got rid of all the hate and suffering in the world? That would be a much better plan than what you propose.

Never in the history of the world have apparitions occurred daily for this many years.  Something special seems to be happening.

Something special sure is happening... But it would be much more likely that it's just another case of the Emperor's new clothes than a supernatural experience that only seems to affect like-minded people.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this discussion.  Sorry about the long reply.

No problem!

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