The True Queen of Peace Shrine

Unknown to Medjugorje-pilgrims, but very important!

by Mark Waterinckx

The  Queen of Peace  shrine in Mostar-Duvno and Trebinje-Mrkan (officially recognized and many times mentioned by the Holy Father) : HRASNO


Introduction : As everybody knows, the Franciscans in Medjugorje propagate illegally the ‘shrine’ of Medjugorje, which was NEVER recognized by  the Holy See, or the national Bishop Conference or by the local Bishops of Mostar.

But did they ever tell you about the officially recognized Shrine of the ‘Queen of Peace’ in HRASNO, only 40km south-east of Medjugorje (direction Dubrovnik), in the Diocese of Trebinje, administrated by the bishop of Mostar? No! WHY not? 

WHY did Fr. Laurentin never mention HRASNO ?

WHY does the ‘Gospa’ of Medjugorje NEVER speak about her own HRASNO, also called the “Hercegovacka Fatima”, which is the official shrine in the diocese of  Trebinje-Mrkan, dedicated to the ‘Queen of Peace‘ since 1977?

The Diocese of Trebinje, founded in the 10th century, had a proper Bishop until 1819, then it was entrusted to the Bishop of Dubrovnik up to 1890, and then to the Bishop of Mostar-Duvno, who is Apostolic Administrator of that diocese. These two dioceses function today as ‘one’ under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Mostar.          

Could there be 2 different shrines with the same title in the same ecclesiastic province as explained?

Indeed, the ‘Queen of Peace’ shrine at HRASNO ( 1977 ) was erected 4 years before Medjugorje ( 1981 )!  Why? The main reason for this true shrine was to ask Our Lady, Queen of Peace, for the  Reconciliation of the Peoples who live in that region and for the unity of the local Church.

The ‘Gospa’ in Medjugorje, on the contrary, defends, from the beginning, the same disobedient Franciscans  against the bishop of Mostar and against an official decree of  The Holy See! (“Romanis Pontificibus” by the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, approved in forma specifica by pope Paul VI on June 6 1975.)

True History

HRASNO:  Shrine of Our Lady, Queen of Peace

In 1977, Bishop Petar Cule of Mostar, inaugurated a new sanctuary in Hrasno, dedicated to Our Lady as Queen of Peace. The bishop was so hurt by the disobedience of the Franciscans, that he wanted the Queen of Peace to help heal the wounds in his dioceses, now torn apart in both unity and charity, the most essential traits of the Body of Christ.

The idea came originally from the pastor of Hrasno, Mgr. Stjepan Batinovic, (°1912,+1981). From the beginning of his pastoral service in 1947 in Hrasno, a small village high in the mountains, he wanted to build a Shrine to Our Lady. In 1957 he first had a small grotto to Our Lady of Lourdes built in the parish courtyard. In 1975 he intended to build a large Shrine on Mount Budisavina, but this didn’t get off to a good start. For this reason he immediately began action on clearing the terrain of the Gradina hill beside the church of Hrasno.

And on May 8, 1977, 4 years before the false Medjugorje-shrine was set up by the Franciscans (!), Bishop Cule blessed the new Statue of our Lady Queen of Peace , in the presence of three other  Bishops: Pavao ˇanić, Coadjutor of Mostar, Severin Pernek of Dubrovnik, Ivo Gugić, Auxiliary of Split, resident in Trogir, 40 priests and about 5.000 faithful. The bishop Čule invited the people to make pilgrimage on this day, 8 May, before the Statue of Queen of Peace.

 Hrasno is located in the diocese of Trebinje in Hercegovina, for which the bishop of Mostar also is the apostolic administrator.

Already in the eighties, on my way with the bus from Medjugorje to Dubrovnik, just North of Metkovic, at the left side of the road, I had noticed a shield that indicated “Svetiste Kraljica Mira Hrasno 20km.” (Sanctuary Queen of Peace Hrasno 20km). But in Medjugorje everybody is completely silent about this genuine Shrine… WHY?

There were many reasons why Mgr. Batinovic decided to build a Marian Shrine in Hrasno. The most important were:  1° Historical, constant unrest in the area. 2° Ecumenical, the presence of 3 religions in the area (Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim) 3° Cultural-economic, to keep the people from moving abroad.

The Holy Father Pope John Paul II has on man occasions mentioned the Queen of Peace Shrine in Hrasno, especially in 1984, when the diocese of Trebinje celebrated its 1.000th anniversary of existence and the parish church of the Nativity of Virgin Mary in Trebinje was elevated to the dignity of the Cathedral.

On May 10, 1987, at the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Hrasno’s Shrine of the Queen of Peace, Cardinal Franjo Kuharic, Archbishop of Zagreb, held the sermon in Hrasno.

And on May 11, 1997, at the 20th anniversary, the papal nuncio Mgr. Francesco Monterisi, concelebrated H. Mass with bishop Peric of Mostar (photos in my possession).

On August 4, 1997, bishop Peric showed me a telegram from Pope John Paul II (copy in my possession) that was sent from the Vatican on May 9, 1997, with congratulations for the 20th anniversary of this recognized Sanctuary “ Kraljica Mira” in Hercegovina. He sent his special apostolic blessing to this “ VERO centro di devozione Mariana” (TRUE center of Marian devotion – quote of John Paul II). Clear enough to every Franciscan in Medjugorje?

Once I asked a Franciscan in Medjugorje to join me to the real Shrine of the Queen of Peace in Hrasno. He refused. Why? Because “ Hrasno is a diocesan shrine and not a Franciscan…”.  This is typical of the strange and divided situation in this region of rivalry and fanaticism.

It seems  that in 1981 the Franciscans have copied the real shrine of Hrasno, which already existed for 4 years, and used it as a model for the phony ‘seers’ shrine in Medjugorje. During that time Fr. Tomislav Vlasic and Fr. Slavko Barbaric were chaplains in Capljina, a small town half way between Medjugorje and… Hrasno! Coincidence?

Now Fr. T. Vlasic, the first spiritual leader of the Medjugorje - ‘seers’, has been severely punished in 2008 by Rome for ‘ manipulation of conscience, dubious doctrine, suspected mysticism, disobedience, scandalous sexual misconduct, suspicion of heresy and schism…’.

It is funny that the ‘Gospa’ of Medjugorje always encouraged Fr Vlasic in her ‘messages’, saying  to the ‘seers’ : “ Give thanks to Tomislav. He is guiding you very well.” (Feb. 28, 1982). And on June 3, 1983 : “ Let Tomislav continue with his prayer group. He’s doing a good job.”

During the same year he was disciplined by bishop Peric of Mostar, Fr. S. Barbaric died in the state of disobedience. I still hear him say to the pilgrims : “If I give you my blessing, it is the ‘Gospa’ who blesses you”. What a confession. He identifies himself with the Franciscan ‘Gospa’…

On February 3, 1985, the “Madonna” in her message said: “I desire that Fr. Slavko remains here to lead the parish and to collect the news so that, when I shall not come more, there will remain a complete overview of all that happened.”[1] (Ogledalo Pravde, Mostar, 2001., p. 59). Fr. Slavko died in November 2000, and the “Madonna” continues to appear up to day. Who will collect the news?

Rebel Franciscan Bozo Rados (Our conversation was recorded by me on tape when he was an illegal chaplain in Capljina) said in 1997: “ I am guided by the Holy Spirit. I don’t need a pope; I don’t need a bishop…” He is now expelled from the Franciscan order by the UFM Minister-General in Rome.

On the front-door of the church in Capljina, which was made inaccessible with bricks, I photographed a poster announcing a pilgrimage to Medjugorje! Coincidence? No! He told me that he is hearing confessions in Medjugorje without canonical status.

It is also remarkable that Fr. Jozo Zovko, ex-priest of Medjugorje, 3 times suspended by 2 different bishops of Mostar, but named ‘ a saint’ by the Franciscan ‘Gospa’, has now disappeared from the Mostar-province for the whole year of 2009, officially for ‘health-reasons’.

In his article “ Holy Mary and Medjugorje’s Racketeers”, Dutch Professor of Anthropology in Amsterdam, Dr. Mart Bax, describes how a group of men from Medjugorje in 1993 (October?) went to Hrasno, stole the local plaster statue of the Queen of Peace by removing it from its pedestal, and putting it in their car. Nobody knows where they have dumped it. Hrasno was ‘desecrated’.

But in 1997 I saw a beautiful big bronze statue of the Queen of Peace on the top of the hill beside the church of Hrasno. There is also a big entrance gate since 1990, there are confessionals, a way of the cross, a folkloric ethnical museum, a parking lot, a hospice for pilgrims and for retreats, a new parish rectory, a new altar outside the church, a cultural-sacral gallery, a parish bookstore, a first-aid room, an extra parish office, a souvenir shop, a room for the old statue of St. George and a replica of Mgr. Batinovic’s room.

From 1977 onward, 4 years before(!) the Franciscan farce in Medjugorje, each year on the second Sunday of May, a great feast in honor of the Queen of Peace is celebrated  in Hrasno.

In his sermon on May 11, 1997, bishop Peric of Mostar said to the 15.000 pilgrims in Hrasno who came to pray for peace and reconciliation : “ I thank you for coming in such great numbers to a place without sensational ‘apparitions’…”


Sources :

                 in Croatian : “ Kraljica Mira Hrasno “ 1990 2° edition by Don Ratko Peric Rome 94p. Parish Office Hrasno and MV-Zagreb

                 in English : “ Medjugorje : Religion, Politics, and Violence in Rural Bosnia “ 1995 by Mart Bax 139p. VU Uitg. Amsterdam  ISBN 90-5383-384-6

                 in German : “ Der Medjugorje Betrug “  2001 by Michael Jones 567p. Verax Verlag CH-7537 Müstair/GR  Switzerland   ISBN 3-909065-19-8

                 in Dutch : AVE 2 p. 31 article Hrasno by M.W.                     Kapittelweg 11 NL-1216 HR Hilversum                                             See on Internet :            p. 31

                 in French : “ Medjugorje ou la Fabrication du Surnaturel “ 1999 by J. Bouflet 243p. Ed. Salvator  F-75006 Paris, France, ISBN 2-7067-0201-X


Mark Waterinckx, Bruges, Belgium    February 18 2009  Feast of St. Bernadette-Lourdes





[1]R. Laurentin, Derničres Nouvelles, 3 (1985)  p. 25-26