Luka Balvan | Zlatko Sudac | Frane Franic | Mirjana Dragicevic Soldo | Jakov Colo | Jozo Zovko | Ivan Dragicevic | Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic | Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti

VISIONARY JAKOV COLO:
OUR LADY WISHES FOR HOLINESS IN ALL FAMILIES

Apparitions, which last in Medjugorje since 1981, and thanks to God, continue to attract many pilgrims from all over the world, young and old, sick and healthy, curious and those wishful of Our Lady's peace. There is also a considerable number of those who want to meet with visionaries and share their anxiety with them, to ask for advice, sign or comfort. But it isn't always easy to reach visionaries because they have their family obligations, but if we try, it's possible.

From six of them: Marija, Vicka, Mirjana, Ivanka, Ivan and Jakov to whom Our Lady appeared on June 25, 1981, three of them: Maria, Vicka and Ivan have apparitions on the daily basis, and Ivanka, Mirjana and Jakov once a year. When apparitions started, Jakov was the youngest, he was only 10 years old. During the last apparition on September 25, 1998, Our Lady said to Jakov Colo that he would have apparition once a year on December 25th, on Christmas. For this encounter on Christmas, Jakov was also preparing and with excitement greeted Our Lady at 2:45 PM. In the meeting, which lasted only 7 minutes, Our Lady gave him the following message:

"Dear children! Today, with Jesus in my arms, in a special way I call you for conversion. Children, through all this time God let me be with you I've been constantly calling you for conversion. Many of your hearts stayed closed. Children, Jesus is peace, love, happiness and this is why you should now decide for Jesus. Start praying. Pray Him for the gift of conversion. Children, only with Jesus you can have peace, happiness and heart filled with love. Children, I love you. I'm your mother and I give you my motherly blessing."

* Jakov, Our Lady kept her promise and she appeared on Christmas. It was hard for you when she restricted the number of apparitions, I'm afraid that it will be even harder for you when they stop.
- I always say that I started living when I was 10 and that the apparition was something special in my life. I must say that I've been seeing Our Lady every day for 17 years and when I had the last apparition, it was the saddest day in my life. Then I asked myself what my life would be like and how I will endure it. But, like Our Lady tells us in Her messages to pray and that with prayers we'll get everything we need, you will understand that it isn't important to see Our Lady with eyes, but with heart and that listening the messages is important.
For the whole year I'm preparing in prayers for Our Lady's arrival on Christmas. It is important to start, because when we love someone, than we can always find a time for that person. Our prayer isn't just saying the words, but it's a conversation with God, it's recognized in our deeds, our help to a fellow man. Sometimes it's enough to smile, to reconcile with somebody, because it is easy to love someone who is on our side, but one should know how to love the others too.
In a message Our Lady said that She wants for all families to be holy, but that doesn't mean that we need to kneel for 24 hours. Holiness is shown in little things; the way we raise our children, what kind of role models we are, do we have peace and love in the family, and we can achieve all if God lives in our lives.

* Are Our Lady's messages the way to Jesus?
- Most beautiful day of my life was that June 25, when I received that big gift from God to see Our Lady and with Her help to meet Jesus Christ, because Our Lady comes here for so long to take us to Jesus Christ, so we could meet Him. People ask why apparitions last so long, why so many messages, why, why... I think that we need to say thank You to God. We still can't understand how much mercy he gave us. I'm sure, if all of us would open our hearts, we would understand why Our Lady comes. She comes here because of us, because she loves us and she wants to take us all to Jesus Christ. Our Lady's messages are the way to Jesus. In Her messages Our Lady reminds us of many things we've forgotten. She tells us to revive the prayer of Holy Rosary, to pray with heart, to feel joy and peace in prayer. Our heart must feel a need for prayer and it must transform to joy, because nobody can pray if it's obligatory. Prayer must become our food. Pilgrims come to Medjugorje with a lot of questions. Some we can't answer, but Our Lady always says: "Pray and you will receive all the answers".
Common pilgrim question is why fast is so important. Firstly because Our Lady asks for it, and secondly it's explained in a message, that with fast and prayer you can achieve everything, even stop wars.
It makes me sad when people come to Medjugorje and accuse God, asking me why God didn't help them and where is He now. Then I try to explain that the first question should be if they are good Christians, if they prayed enough, if they were good example to others, what they've done to prevent what happened to them. God is always with us, but we need to pray to God and go to God and we do the opposite, remembering Him only when we need to.

* I know you don't like pointing out you're a visionary, but you are, and pilgrims appreciate and respect you. What is your relationship with them?
- When people visit Medjugorje, they visit the visionaries too. I'd like to point out that people do not come here for visionaries, because we're just ordinary people. They don't come here to see the signs, they come so they could experience the conversion, start a new life with God and, what is the most important, to keep doing it in their homes, that the people they meet notice God's doings within them. The largest and the best example is our testimony to the others.

* How do you manage to harmonize your family life with apparitions and all activities toward pilgrims?
- We visionaries live like normal people. We have our families, I have three children and they go to school. By now more than 40 million people visited Medjugorje and we've met most of them. Prayers help us raise our children, prayers help us in everything. We couldn't do all of this without God's help.

* Some people have asked you to solve a doubt about fast. Can bagel or something be used instead of bread during the fast and does one fast until midnight or morning?
- Day lasts for 24 hours. Some people eat in the evening. Our Lady doesn't force anyone to do anything. We know what is bread, we know what is water. People say that's hard so they find all kind of excuses, but when they go to the seaside for vacation, they keep a diet because they want to look fit. If there is a will there can be fast, because we need fast for our life, for our future. We need to bring a little sacrifice in everything.

* How would you react, let's say, if your child comes to a phase, suddenly saying not to believe any more?
- I don't know. I didn't find myself in that kind of situation, but I remember late fr. Slavko used to say that children should be raised in faith from the beginning and if they move away from God, they will always return. The faith we gave them stays in their hearts and I hope it will not come to that. I will pray for all of you, and you pray for me.