Bringing Our Lady’s Medjugorje message to the world

Almost 50 million people of all faiths and nationalities—believers, skeptics and the curious—have visited Medjugorje since 1981, when the Blessed Mother first reportedly appeared to six children on a mission of peace with a message for the world.

“I have come to tell the world that God exists,” she said. “He is the fullness of life, and to enjoy this fullness and peace, you must return to God.”

She identified herself as the Queen of Peace, according to six visionaries, Marija, Vicka, Ivan, Mirjana, Jakov, and Ivanka, who said God allowed this period of grace so that we can return to her son, Jesus. The Blessed Mother was calling the world to conversion, prayer and fasting, they said. She also told them of world events that would unfold in the future.

“Peace, peace, peace, and only peace,” she reportedly said. “Peace must reign between man and God, and between all people!”

Those who are devoted to her tell the skeptical, “Go and you will believe.” For those who follow Our Lady’s messages but cannot travel to the mountain village in Bosnia and Herzegovina, there is MaryTV Medjugorje, a live-streaming channel available 24 hours a day. The internet channel at broadcasts in high definition to the major time zones of the world from Medjugorje.

Begun by Denis and Cathy Nolan of South Bend, Ind., MaryTV is a lay apostolate that uses modern communication technology to spread Our Lady’s presence and messages.

“Our Lady has been coming to help her children in a world that has a growing lack of interest in God, a world that’s becoming more and more godless,” said Cathy Nolan. “She has been calling us back to God, and Medjugorje is one of her final attempts. No other apparition has been this long. She is a source of hope in a world that is increasingly dark.”

Denis Nolan, president of the media outlet said she is using technology to reach people in the digital age.

“We look at MaryTV not as an end in itself, but as a way for Our Lady to invite people to Medjugorje,” said Denis, who has been working in television since the 1990s, when he began producing programs on a Pentecostal station in South Bend.

A graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a degree in theology and government, he taught high school theology for many years.

“I just wanted to serve God,” he said. “That was my goal in life, and that’s why I started teaching at St. Joseph High School in South Bend.”

When the Medjugorje apparitions were beginning, he saw the positive effect it had on students, who began to pray the rosary and meditate on Our Lady’s messages. Even Protestant students would spend their lunch hour in the chapel, on their knees in prayer.

Then, in October 1986, Our Lady called him. One autumn afternoon, his next-door neighbor told him, “I’m going to Medjugorje this Friday.

“My wife and all my kids pointed at me and said, ‘You go too,’” he recalled. But to make that happen, he needed $1,300 for the trip.

“I never wanted anything so bad in all my life, and I said to my students, ‘Pray with me so I can go to Medjugorje.’” Their prayers were answered. He got the money.

This was the first of almost 100 trips to Medjugorje, and it began a spiritual adventure that changed his life and led to MaryTV. While he was there, he felt the Blessed Mother’s presence and encountered countless people who had conversions, including a former IRA terrorist and a group of Ukrainian pilgrims.

“Satan had nothing that could compete with the power of Our Lady,” he said.

Cathy, who graduated from St. Mary’s College in South Bend with a degree in English literature, later got her master’s in theology from the University of Dayton.

“She has the unique gift of a scholar’s mind and a mother’s heart,” Denis says of his wife and mother of their eight children.

A year after Denis’ trip, both of them went to Medjugorje.

“I was so impressed with Our Lady’s presence,” Cathy said. “But it was a difficult trip because I had a miscarriage there, and it was still a Communist country. The people made sure I found a Catholic doctor who would take care of me in a pro-life way. I experienced the fruit of their goodness, and that helped me trust what was going on there.”

Denis became committed to spreading the word about Our Lady’s messages, and from that commitment emerged several Marian ministries that evolved into MaryTV, which began at the turn of the millennium.

Whenever they prayed, they received money for their projects. Then, he says, “The Lord told me to do TV,” which continued their outreach through digital technology. It was an ambitious undertaking, but the people they needed to implement the project showed up, including Tom Matasso, the chief television engineer, and his son Matt, who is gifted in internet technology.

Matasso, who worked with St. John Paul II, was instrumental in launching Vatican TV and had worked at NBC for 40 years.

“What motivated me more than anything was that I knew John Paul II believed the media could be used for good, and that’s what we wanted to do,” Denis said. “This was a great opportunity to spread the Gospel to the world. What I witnessed was so powerful that Satan had nothing to compete with it—young and old people, praying and loving God.”

The staff of MaryTV also includes Franjo and Rosie Zubac, a family in Medjugorje who offer live weekly updates at the TV studio, which is close to the Church of St. James the Apostle in the center of the village.

The programming schedule, which is available at,  includes daily broadcasts of the English Mass, daily rosary, an Hour of Mercy, weekly episodes of “A Moment with Mary,” “Fruit of Medjugorje,” and “Tea With Rosie,” along with other devotions and coverage of the messages from Our Lady.

“At 10 am, seven days a week, Cathy and I pray the rosary live with people on six continents,” Denis said. “We stream the daily English Mass, and live-stream every day the International Mass from St. James Church. We also have live adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; the parish praying the Rosary daily, and coverage when the parish prays on the mountains.”

Our Lady’s message is a simple one, Cathy says. She leads us to her son and the path to peace.     The Blessed Mother gives us “five stones” that can be used to defeat Satan, just as God gave David five stones to defeat Goliath, she said. These are daily prayer, especially of the rosary, fasting on Wednesday and Friday, attending Mass to receive the Eucharist, reading the Bible every day and going to confession every month.

These spiritual weapons can defeat Satan whose goal is to destroy life, love, faith and the family.

The seers say they still continue to receive private apparitions. Some of them share their messages with the public, monthly and annually.

In their years committed to this Marian apostolate, Denis and Cathy have witnessed many conversions, which are the fruits of the apparitions. Even though the Church has not definitively ruled on the apparitions, Denis and Cathy have almost 500 testimonies on the MaryTV website “of what Our Lady has done in invidious lives to bring them back to God”—people healed of addictions, families restored, people rescued from New Age temptations and brought back to faith, amazing physical and spiritual healings, and young people who have been given religious vocations.

“There are so many ways Our Lady has touched lives,” Cathy says. “These healings are all through her intercession. No one knows what people are bringing to Medjugorje, but when they get on the apparition mountain and in church, amazing things happen.”

As the Blessed Mother reportedly said: “Dear children, I am calling you for years through these messages that I am giving you…. For years, I am calling you and exhorting you to a deep spiritual life.… Read the messages I am giving you every day and transform them into life.”