Međugorje Mostly Attracts More Educated Pilgrims

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Interesting sociological research on Italian pilgrims coming to Međugorje.

As far as Italy is concerned, pilgrimage to Medjugorje mostly attracts educated people with secondary or university education, according to research conducted by sociologist Luca Pesenti, a professor at Milan’s Cattolica University. His research was published in the book “My Life Was Changed in Međugorje”, reports Večernji List on June 12, 2016.

Much has been said about pilgrimages to Međugorje, people who allegedly saw Our Lady, and the people who come to the little town in Herzegovina. This research shows that Međugorje attracts educated people who are not followers of conservative Catholicism or some postmodern or mystical miraculous cult.

The research included 1,049 pilgrims who travelled to Međugorje by bus or by plane in the period from April to October 2015. These were mostly Italians from the north of the country, including 77.4% from Lombardy and 13.3% from Piedmont. Most of the pilgrims came from small towns with less than 20,000 inhabitants, and only 12% of them came from Milan and 11% from Turin.

Most of the pilgrims were women (68.8%), and the average age of the pilgrims was quite high. Only 28% were younger than 50 years old, and 34% older than 65 years. About 44% of them were retirees. It is interesting that among those who were employed as much as 40% were business owners, managers, freelancers and university professors.

Most of them (38%) came to Međugorje for spiritual comfort, 23% went to pray for help for themselves or others, 17.7% wanted to have a contact with a holy place, and 11.7% to give thanks for the graces received.

It is interesting how the pilgrims changed their views on alleged apparitions. Before going to Međugorje, about 70% were reasonably sure as to the veracity of the apparitions, while upon the return that share increased to 85%. If we add to this that prior to pilgrimage 22% of people were sceptics, and upon the return only 9% remained sceptical, it is clear why Međugorje remains a place of continuous pilgrimage.


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