Peace, peace, peace and only peace! Peace must reign between God and man and between people.
This is the primary call of the Virgin Mary revealing herself for the last thirty three years to six chosen people from Medjugorie. While the Queen of Peace calls for fasting every Wednesday and Friday, new restaurants, bars, coffee shops and hotels have been springing up for the last four decades in this village of apparition. You can pay in local currency, you can pay in euro. All of it is made for your comfort, dear consumer! Plastic Virgin Marys, thermometers, pillows, bags, pictures, devotional articles, and all sorts of gadgets with the image of the Blessed Virgin make attractive souvenirs for tourists with varying tastes as well as giving fuel to potential critics. But this is not the point. Religion in every culture has always been a market for buyers and sellers, whether these were physical objects or ideological interpretations.
The essence of pilgrimages to Medjugorie are revelations and messages transferred to the world by six visionaries. Do these visionaries lie? Do they pretend?
Investigators found out that the apparitions are not sleep or dream hallucinations, not auditory or visual hallucinations or paroxysms. This is not hysteria, neurosis, it can not be deemed as pathological ecstasy or catalepsy. The study excluded meditation and charismatic experience. It was however found, that the pain threshold of visionaries increases to 700 percent. Studies have shown that their pupils grow (without any change in the external light) at the moment of ecstasy, which means that there is a presence of someone that would only be seen by those six chosen.
(Rene Laurentin & Henri Joyeux in ‘Scientific & Medical Studies On The Apparitions At Medjugorje ‘).
Krzysztof Maniocha was born in 1979 in Poland. He has spent the last thirteen years in Ireland, during this time he graduated from Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, with a BA ( Honors ) Degree in professional photography.
Krzysztof has had his documentary stories featured with the photojournalist agency ‘Uspecto Images’ whom he’s been involved with since 2011.