Bosnia and Hercegovina

St. James' Church, Medugorje, Bosnia and Hercegovina

St. James' Church dominates the small town of Međugorje. In fact, it seems far too large for a town of this small scale. The site of an even larger medieval church stands not far away, but that was destroyed and a new church wasn't built until St. James' (sometimes confusingly referred to as St. Jacob's) was built in 1969 to an equally large scale.

The faithful had justification for this extravagance some years later. On 24 June 1981 six teenagers from the village had a vision of the Virgin Mary on nearby Podbro Hill (now renamed Apparition Hill). Every day since then the "Receivers" have had a message from the Virgin. Despite the Roman Catholic Church not officially acknowledging any miracles here, the visions changed a tiny obscure village into a major centre for international pilgrimage. Nowadays St. James' Church isn't big enough for the volume of pilgrims and an extension and open air seating has been added behind it.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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