Ivan, born May 25, 1965, was 16-years-old when the apparitions began, and typical of a boy his age, was not particularly pious. However, four days after the first apparitions his mother found a rosary in his pants pocket.2 The apparitions forged a complete change in him. Ivan is one of the three visionaries who continue to have daily apparitions and has been given nine secrets. When speaking to pilgrims, Ivan shares the valuable information Our Lady has given him to help man find God. Ivan’s answers to the pilgrims are truly insightful and inspired. He speaks with quiet confidence and often appears serious, though he has a wonderful sense of humor that comes through from time to time. He testifies to what he has been taught through the years by Our Lady without any anxiousness for people to believe what he says is true. His attitude seems to be that each has the choice to believe or not to believe, and eventually all will know the truth, one way or another.
Ivan entered the seminary shortly after the apparitions began but experienced great difficulties, not only academically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. “During the time I spent in the ‘Little Seminary’ in Dubrovnik, I suffered very much, truly, very much, because of my relations with my colleagues and professors. (Those in the seminary did not believe Ivan was seeing Our Lady and so he was constantly mocked and scorned.) Regarding all the problems I had then, Our Lady said, “Don’t worry. I will guide you through your life.” 3 Our Lady then asked Ivan if he wished Her to show him his future. “She revealed my future to me—until my death. My personal future is my secret. Only I know it. First, Our Lady asked me whether or not She should tell me. I’m sorry Our Lady revealed my personal future to me. [But] I’m content now and not afraid, because I know who guided me. Now, I look to the Mother who guides me, and I live in complete contentment.”
Our Lady has spoken and given instruction to Ivan about today’s family and the youth and those things that hurt and attack them.
In one interview, Ivan stated that Our Lady has asked him to write a book, with Her help, about the disease of materialism, which he says is destroying the beauty of God’s people and the world that He created. The book, he said, will be released “as soon as the Blessed Mother says.” 5 Interestingly enough, Ivan married an American girl from Massachusetts, Laureen Murphy, who is a former Miss Massachusetts. Laureen experienced conversion through Medjugorje, which eventually led to her meeting Ivan. Since their marriage, Ivan lives with his wife and children half of the year in the United States and half the year in Medjugorje. Living within the culture of America has, no doubt, given Ivan a greater understanding of the evils of materialism than if he had remained within the region and culture in which he was born.
Through the direction of Our Lady, Ivan, with Marija, started a prayer group of young people, who began meeting twice a week on Apparition Hill or Cross Mountain. During the prayer group meetings, Our Lady would normally appear to the visionaries giving messages and instructions. She asked them to offer their prayers for the fulfillment of her plans for the world. Although most refer to the prayer group as “Ivan’s prayer group,” Ivan states that it is Our Lady who is the leader of the group. Tens of thousands, if not millions of pilgrims have joined this small prayer group up on the mountains throughout the years. It is a great joy of Our Lady to see so many come. As in the message below, She has often stated how happy She is to see everyone gathered in such large numbers.