“It was approximately 6:00pm. We went a little earlier. Mirjana and I were walking together, talking to each other. Ivanka was right in front of us. Suddenly she turned and said: ‘Look, the Madonna!’ She saw her first. Then Mirjana and I looked where Ivanka had looked, and we both cried out: ‘The Madonna-It is She!’ It was still daylight and I was able to see her face, eyes, hair, and gown. I was able to recognize everything. We were down on the road and did not know what to do. I went to call Marija and Jakov. They came immediately….
“The Madonna called to us to go up on the hill, and we went. When you look up from the bottom of the hill, it looks close, but it is not. We ran quickly up the hill. It was not like walking on the ground. Nor did we look for the path. We simply ran toward Her. In five minutes we were on the hill-as if something had pulled us through the air. I was afraid. I also was barefoot, but no thorns had scratched me….
“When we were about seven feet (two meters) away from the Madonna, we felt as if we were thrown to our knees. Jakov was thrown kneeling into a thorny bush, and I thought he would be injured. But he came out of it without a scratch. Then I asked: ‘Marija, do you see the Madonna?’ She said: ‘I see something white; it is getting clearer.’ Later she saw, like the rest of us.
“Jakov said: ‘I see the Madonna,’ but Ivanka talked to Her first. Her mother had died two months earlier, and Ivanka asked about her. The Madonna told Ivanka that her mother is well, is with Her, and that Ivanka should not worry….
“Mirjana complained to the Madonna. ‘Dear Madonna, they will not believe us when we go home. They will tell us that we are crazy.’ The Madonna just smiled. We were on the hill for ten to fifteen minutes. Meanwhile, some people had come up to join us. When we were about to leave, the Madonna seemed to be hovering in the air, and we didn’t know what to say. Then She said to us: ‘Go in God’s peace.’ Our heads were all turned in the direction where She was leaving-all in the wsame direction. No one said anything, but everyone was frightened.
“When we were on the hill, praying with the Madonna on the second day, we prayed seven Our Fathers. We were praying because we did not know what else to do. We were crying a little and praying a little. Later, She told us to pray seven Our Father’s, Hail Mary’s, Glory Be’s, and the Credo.”
For those who followed the six children up the hill that day, they were dumbfounded as to the speed in which they saw the visionaries climb it. They, themselves, could not keep up with them. Mirjana’s uncle, who was one of the adults present that day, stated that, “It takes at least twelve minutes to get up there, yet they did it in two. It scared me to death.”13 The apparition lasted for almost 15 minutes. All the visionaries were weeping upon coming down from the hill. They were both moved and frightened by their experience.
Marinko Ivankovic, a man of about 40 years in age, lived across the street from Milka and Marija, and just down the street from Vicka’s house. He knew the children well, and knew them to be ‘good girls.’ He had come across Marija and Vicka on Thursday morning and heard, for the first time, the strange occurrences of the day before. He was shaken by the story and decided, if the children returned to the hill, he would keep a close watch on them. However, he arrived at the wrong time, and was there only to see the children, who were frightened and upset, coming down from the mountain. He said,
“Ivanka was sobbing, terribly upset. I ran to her and asked what the matter was, and she told me all that had passed between her and the apparition. I tried to tell her that if the vision had said her mother was well and happy, then she should be laughing not crying. But she was inconsolable.”1
Marinko felt that the parish priests should be informed and involved in these occurrences, especially if ‘some evil power was at work here.’ But to his dismay, the pastor, Fr. Jozo Zovko was not in the village and the assistant pastor Fr. Zrinko Culvalo wanted nothing to do with the matter. Marinko then took it upon himself to help and watch over the children. As he spoke to them, he began to believe their story. He said after returning from the Church,
“…so I went back home and talked to the children myself. Ivanka had calmed down by that time and was able to talk quite rationally. And that was when I began to believe the whole fantastic story, because I knew Ivanka well, and she was a level-headed studious girl. I knew Milka and Marija too; every night the girls used to come and help my wife Dragica, with the washing-up…They were good girls.”
And thus ended the second day of the apparitions. It was on this day that Heaven made known its final determination of those who would be the only “eye-witnesses” of Our Lady in the apparitions. The six children who went up the hill that day compiled the permanent group of visionaries: For this reason, among others perhaps, June 25th became the anniversary of the apparitions and eventually was named, the Feast of Our Lady Queen of Peace, at the request of Our Lady, herself.