This article examines and interprets the phenomenon of Medjugorje as a new religious phenomenon. The name of this Bosnian-Herzegovinian village not only refers to a long series of Marian apparitions, but it is also used as a metaphor for the religious and political developments that occur in relation to those visions. The argument is that in the context of interaction with nationalist agendas and church politics, Medjugorje must be seen as a contested apparitional site that has reinvented itself into a highly successful grassroots religious movement. Medjugorje devotees and the faithful, inspired by tradition, are creating an idiosyncratic devotional expression of Catholicism, in which the individual endures the hardships of pilgrimage for a personalized experience of charismatic gifts and the miraculous. The article contends that this distinguishes this devotional movement from mainstream Catholic pilgrimage culture.

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