Pope Francis approved Catholic pilgrimages to Medjugorje in May 2019, but he has not issued a formal judgment on the authenticity of the alleged apparitions.
The reputed apparitions began on June 24, 1981, when six children in Medjugorje, a town that was then part of communist Yugoslavia, began to experience phenomena which they reported to be apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
According to the alleged seers, the apparitions contained a message of peace for the world, a call to conversion, prayer, and fasting, as well as certain secrets surrounding events to be fulfilled in the future.
The purported apparitions at the site have been a source of both controversy and conversion, with many flocking to the town for pilgrimage and prayer, with some people claiming to have experienced miracles and others concluding that the visions are not authentic.
In January 2014, a Vatican commission ended a nearly four-year-long investigation into the doctrinal and disciplinary aspects of the Medjugorje apparitions and submitted a document to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Pope Francis visited Bosnia and Herzegovina in June 2015 but declined to stop in Medjugorje during his trip. During his return flight to Rome, he indicated that the process of investigation was nearly complete.