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Dr. Dara: The First Conversion of Medjugorje

Written by Milanka Lachman, with help, and deep gratitude to Dr. Dara, as well as to our translator Slavica Marincic, and Slavenka Jelavic who arranged this meeting.

Days after the Medjugorje apparitions first began, the visionary children were interrogated by the communist police and medical committees. One of the first doctors who observed the children, Dr. Dara. Her formal name is Dr. Darinka Glamuzina.

While on pilgrimage to Medjugorje, we met with Dr. Dara at the Grace Hotel in Medjugorje on January 16, 2024. She shared with us about the events that took place between June 25 – 29, 1981, her interactions with the children, and about her life. Before her testimony, we prayed and then proceeded to hear one of the greatest stories ever told.

Dr. Dara was born and raised in Eastern Croatia which at that time was part of Yugoslavia. Her family was not religious, and although she was baptized, she never practiced her faith. Yugoslavia was a communist country, but she said that at the time, she had no problem with that. She went to the University in Zagreb, finished medical school, became a doctor, met her husband, got married, and moved to Western Hercegovina, as that is where her husband was from.

Dr. Dara recalls how shocked she was when she first came to the region; it was as if she had come to another world. Socially and culturally, it was so different from everything she knew. For her, it was such a primitive world. She experienced a huge clash of cultures.

She said, “I was a young, arrogant, intellectual, agnostic doctor, who believed that everyone else in the region was an ignorant peasant.”

She was given the task of getting the children to tell the truth and expose the Medjugorje visionaries. Right from the start she thought, I can do this! She was chosen for the task because she was young and smart. It was believed that the children would open up to her. She was not from the area, she did not know anything or anyone in the region, so she was an excellent choice for the job at hand.

The first time she met the children (the visionaries) was soon after they experienced the first vision. The children were sent to her clinic in Citluk which is 3 miles away from Medjugorje. The meeting was taking place right after they were interrogated by police.

Dr. Dara remembers that when she saw them, all she saw were simple, peasant, teenage children. Nothing extraordinary. In the end, all six of them sat quietly in front of her. Suddenly 9-year-old Jakov got up, started to walk towards her, and said firmly, “You can kill me, but I saw Gospa (Our Lady)!”

Before Dr. Dara saw the children, they had been taken to Mostar Hospital. There, a very prominent psychiatric specialist was the first one to interrogate them. Dr. Dara remembers that the report was sent to her, and she read it. This report has somehow disappeared, no one knows what happened to it, but she clearly remembers that the specialist wrote how that doctor was more interested in the behavior of those who had brought the children to her than the children themselves. In that doctor’s opinion, nothing was wrong with the children. They were just ordinary children, but the people who brought them were in some state of frenzy. She felt some kind of hysteria around them.

After the initial meeting with the children, the medical committee asked her to go to Medjugorje and sit next to the kids during the alleged apparition to observe them. She felt honored that she had been chosen. She thought it showed how highly they must respect her and her expertise! It was only later she realized that it was actually because nobody else wanted to go.

While driving to Medjugorje with the director of the clinic, Dr. Dara thought to herself: No one can manipulate me because I’m a very smart, intelligent, doctor. Enthusiastic to get to the bottom of it all, I will check everything, the same way we perform every medical check-up. From A to Z!

When they got to the Apparition Hill in Medjugorje, she realized that the climb was not going to be easy; the trails were steep and there were very sharp rocks. There were so many people all around. She had no idea how many, but there had to have been at least 10,000 people, police, dogs…The director told her to stay where she was and to wait for him to come back. He returned and took her to the family home of one of the alleged visionaries.

It was June 29th a little before 5 p.m. They walked inside the house and saw everyone praying. The house was full of people praying. She had never seen or experienced anything like this in her entire life.

The director instructed Dr. Dara, “You just stay inside, and don’t say anything. Just wait.” Dr. Dara thought to herself, I have a huge task to stop all of this.

Then, everyone stopped praying and there was silence. In one moment, one of the visionaries named Vicka said, ”Let’s go to the hill… Our Lady will come.” And then everybody went out following her. Dr. Dara wanted to stay very close to her. Vicka has no recollection, and Dr. Dara has no recollection as to how they got up the hill. It seemed to have only taken them a second!

That was a very, very big moment for Dr. Dara; the realization of not knowing how she got up that hill in no time. It could not be explained! No one knows how the other visionaries got there either. When you talk to those people who were there that day, you’ll get the same answer. Nobody knows.”

It was almost as though Dr. Dara and the children had a special power to place themselves in the exact spot where she supposed they needed to be. She shared, “I realized we’re just going to be observers. And all of a sudden, as we found ourselves on that spot, I saw all six of them. All six children. They all came from different directions.”

Dr. Dara said that part of her felt like a doctor, but she also felt like Sherlock Holmes on extraterrestrial turf. Thousands of people and the police were all around them, but she was not interested in anyone except the six children. Her whole ego was put to the test. Dr. Dara felt surrounded by primitive peasants. She thought to herself how they had no idea how intelligent she was. She looked around for a moment to try to find out who was influencing the children. “You can sometimes tell you know, how some people have the type of personality where they can change the atmosphere.”

Dr. Dara’s director asked Vicka, “Can Dr. Dara be here next to you?” Vicka said “Yes” and Dr. Dara got as close as possible to Vicka and the children. She was thinking: What method should I use now? How to analyze it all, and how to stop it? How to stop this insanity? This madness? So many people, lots of people!

 She was trying to observe physical changes in the children. She said, “I was even touching Vicka’s pulse to see if her heart was racing…That was very stupid of me.”

The children were praying for what seemed like a long time. They were probably praying the Rosary, but Dr. Dara had no idea what the Rosary was.

Dr. Dara was very happy and content that she was close, and that she could see all the other visionaries. And then, she was shocked to see that simultaneously, they were all looking exactly at the same spot! And she saw on their faces the expression of an ecstasy.

“There was a joy on their faces that I cannot find words to describe…and I felt it too. Somewhere in my mind, perhaps 0.1 % of my mind, I understood that something was starting to happen. But I was still thinking that there was some sort of outside manipulation going on. From outer space maybe? I was excited because I was a huge fan of those science fiction movies! ET maybe? So, what was going on that the children were not able to discern?”

The people around Dr. Dara were in ecstasy too. She heard people praying: “Please ask Our Lady to heal my child.” Prayers were coming from all over. All around there was massive delight and ecstasy… Oh, Dr. Dara was very nervous. She hated it!

And then, Dr. Dara shared, it got on her nerves. She was annoyed. Yes, annoyed! And she thought to herself: Look at this. These are very precious moments of an extraordinary event which are taking place and look at this. What are they doing? Spending this time asking, ‘Give me this’ and ‘Give me that’.

And then, thinking herself very smart, Dr. Dara asked Vicka, “Can I ask the lady a question?” And surprisingly, Vicka answered simply, “Yes, I will ask her for you.” Just like that. Not immediately yes or no. They’re not the ones who are going to make the decision.

Vicka said to Our Lady, “This woman wants to ask you a question.” Dr. Dara said nervously, “I’m able to ask the question?” Vicka turned to her and said yes. Dr. Dara was excited. She felt that she had to take full advantage of this opportunity. She thought to herself: This is something from out of space, an adapter! The world has a right to see what’s going on! She said to Vicka, “Ask her who she is.”

As she shared her story, Dr. Dara drew an imaginary triangle with her finger in front of her in the air recalling, “This was truly incredible! There was a triangle of communication between myself, Vicka, and whoever, whatever was present there.” Something fantastic and phenomenal! Dr. Dara continued with her story.

Again, Vicka looked up and asked Our Lady in her resolute manner: “This woman is asking who are you.” So, the triangle! Dr. Dara could tell that Vicka was waiting for an answer. And then Vicka conveyed, “She says that she is the Queen of Peace.”

Dr. Dara tried to contemplate what this meant. They had peace. She thought to herself: Why? Why all of this? Would we need her? Why would we need that?

And then it all came back to her… the way Dr. Dara felt coming to Hercegovina. Seeing the poverty, ignorance, and everything else around her.

She asked Vicka to ask another question: “Why did she come here? Out of all places?” Dr. Dara asked this because she sincerely thought that Medjugorje was the end of the world. There was nothing there!

Vicka asked, “This woman is asking you why you came here?” Again, Dr. Dara could see that Vicka was waiting for the answer. And then she said, “Our Lady said it is because the faith here is firm and strong.”

Dr. Dara looked around at all the people praying. She never had seen so many people praying together simultaneously before. There was something in the atmosphere as if they were all “infected” with something, a strong faith. She shared in her testimony, “The people in Medjugorje are faithful and that is something I experienced when I came here. There are no reserves or doubts, people are simply faithful. There is such strong faith.”

Her next question to Vicka was “How can there be peace in the world when there are so many denominations/religions?” Again, Vicka asked the question and they waited. Dr. Dara’s mind was still searching, trying to look for patterns.

And then Vicka spoke: “Our Lady says: there is only one religion and one spirit and one God.”

Dr. Dara was shocked! That sentence. Nothing was mentioned about religion, the name of a preacher, or anything! It was only the truth! Deep, profound truth.


And in that moment, Dr. Dara knew that these were not Vicka’s words. They had to be given by someone from Heaven or somewhere. Because these were the holy words. Suddenly, she realized that this was the truth she was searching for.

Dr. Dara explained to us, “You know, being a doctor and a scientist, you have this need to finish your search. You have to physically touch your patient. So, in my madness at the time, I asked if I could touch Our Lady.”

She presented this request to Vicka who turned and asked: “This woman asks if she can touch you?” But before she received the answer Dr. Dara was frightened thinking: What if she says yes?! What am I going to do? Our Lady answered through Vicka: “Yes, you can.” Vicka told Dr. Dara where to get close and pointed where to put her hand… and she came close to where Vicka pointed. She tried to feel something with her hand.

There were thousands and thousands of feelings, emotions, thoughts, and fears running through her mind at that moment. What am I doing, what am I doing? And what is this all about here?

And then she felt it. Yes. At that moment, it was clear to her. She knew it. She knew that Our Lady had left like a mist. Yes, like a mist.

But she still had her doubts. She turned to Vicka and asked, “Is she gone? Vicka said, “Yes.”On hearing this, Dr. Dara was very sad because she felt that Our Lady had left because of her and her unworthiness.

Here Dr. Dara paused for a moment, evidently shaken by her testimony. And then she continued, “But then something even worse happened.”

Vicka said to her, “I have to tell you something that Our Lady said when you tried to touch her. Our Lady said: ‘There will always be an unfaithful Judas.’”

Here Dr. Dara shared with us the impact that those words had made on her. “Yes… I came there to destroy, to erase all of it. Like a spy, just like Judas. I was crushed and completely depleted…”

When everything was over, they came down the hill. Dr. Dara walked down with Mirjana and some other girls. She talked to Mirjana who confirmed everything exactly as it had just happened. She knew that it was true. Coming down the hill she knew it. These children had seen Our Lady.

They had seen her. And God exists!

Dr. Dara shared about her upbringing. How she had been baptized and all, but never lived the faith and was agnostic. She continued, “I realized at that moment that I was a different person coming down that road. I had this feeling that something changed completely inside me.”

When Dr. Dara came back to the car, she had the urge to share her experience and told the director. He responded cautiously, “I did see you up there, but could not see everything that happened. I don’t know what happened, but the best thing for you to do is to keep it to yourself. Please do not speak about it. You know, there is a new day tomorrow, we’ll see what happens then.”

Dr. Dara went home with a deep sense of defeat. To finish her mission with the knowledge of being referred to as an Unfaithful Judas! The worst personality or person in all human history. The greatest traitor, to finish like Judas…

The dark clouds came around her. She fell on her knees with only one thought: How will I continue to live? She cried and prayed the whole night. She asked God: “Forgive me, forgive me! Have mercy on me, have mercy on me!” That was all she prayed: forgive me, have mercy on me!

She didn’t think that she would live through the night. She had such a profound feeling of her end being near. But she survived and all that she cared about was that God existed. Our Lady, yes she exists! Jesus, yes He exists!

And it was obvious that she had been given a second chance to live. To be accepted by God. He understood! He did forgive her.

Dr. Dara told us that life went on, and all that she had experienced that day began the changes within her and her personality. She stressed strongly that something very, very powerful contributed to these changes and helped her to grow spiritually.

She said, “I am a doctor and of course, I know what dreams are. Scientifically, there are phases, different phases in dreams…But what happened to me, there were a few times in my life that I knew these were not dreams. After the dream, I would wake up in tears. They were terrible tears, and I was very critical of myself! But over time I realized that I was living in light of that dream…No, not a dream, visions. Those were visions.”

She told us about the first “ dream” / vision she experienced: “Jesus was there, only he wasn’t my dream…he was standing there in front of me asking me about my life. Like a confessional for life. I felt that this was somebody that you cannot hide anything from. And when I was telling him everything from my life that was beautiful, I could feel the peace. There was joy and happiness in Jesus’s eyes!

Oh, that feeling of joy! There are no words in human vocabulary to describe it. Simple as that! Joy was in my heart because I was able to see joy in the eyes of Jesus.

And then, he asked questions. Provocative questions. I was trying to hide the truth, I was disguising. Hiding like Adam and Eve. But I realized there was no way to do it because He saw through me, that I was lying.

And then, there was sadness in his eyes and no words were given. There was so much sadness in His eyes that I woke up crying. Again I was praying, forgive me, forgive me!

Then, I thought to myself, it’s just a dream, I’ve lived through it, I didn’t die. But finally, it dawned on me: one has to speak the truth. No matter what, only the truth. I learned that in this dream. That was the first dream.”

She continued to tell us about her life and how she devoted herself to her profession. She worked in the hospital, and she pursued all the degrees she needed. She wrote numerous articles and papers and taught at the University. She did all this in the light of faith and her profound experience. Always with that thought that one has to speak the truth. She wanted to put all of it into practice and wanted others to do the same.

But people didn’t want to accept it. She understood that if you were to stay on that path, the price you pay could be high. For her it was worthwhile. She said, “I finished my working years. I was devoted to everything that I was doing, including the scientific aspect of my work. Working with people, working with children was beautiful. Now when I look back and ask myself, why did I go to medical school? I can see now. It was not a failure I made. I needed to go. It was even God’s task. He was working through me.”

We all sat quietly for a moment. One could tell how deeply Dr. Dara was immersed in her thoughts, re-living these memories all over again. And then she raised her head and with eagerness in her voice she said, “If you allow me, I would love to share one more dream with you.”

Needless to say, we were more than happy to listen to more of her story.

She said that at a time when she was already deep in her faith, she was in Zagreb doing her specialization in neonatology. Here, back home in this hospital, nobody wanted to take on that specialization. She also was reluctant, but she took it. She explained, “When you are a medical doctor, you have to have some emotional distance. It was hard for me. I thought to myself, maybe this is not for me. But when I started studying, I saw it was so beautiful. The children are beautiful. And there can be no distance. You have to be in it 100%. And it was hard for me. Still, I wasn’t quite sure that I had chosen well. Then, one night I heard a voice say to me, ‘Why are you doubting this? Why are you torturing yourself? Why? You are on a good way, on a good path. I am in every child. I am present in every child!’ “

Again, she woke up and was crying.

Here, Dr. Dara concluded her story and told us that this “dream” had the most profound impact on her personal and professional life. It shaped and deepened her faith as well.

After she finished her testimony, we all sat in silence, deeply moved by her experiences. We prayed together and then almost simultaneously, all six of us who were present repeated little Jakov’s words: “You can kill me. I saw Gospa!”

The Medjugorje visionaries from left to right: Vicka, Jakov, Mirjana, Ivanka, Marija and Ivan

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