Medjugorje is a village in the commune of Citluk in western Herzegovina, ancient Brotnjo. Medjugorje gave its name to the large Roman Catholic parish, and in recent years has become one of the most famous and most visited centers of pilgrimage in the whole Catholic world. The name Medjugorje is of Slav origin and means the region between two mountains. The region of Medjugorje parish is kind of plateau, barely over 200 meters above sea level. It has mild Mediterranean climate which is ideal for growing grapes, tobacco and fruit.
The parish of Medjugorje was founded in 1892 and put under the protection of St James, the patron saint of pilgrims. Only five years after the old parish church of St. James was finished. At the time it was quite large and beautiful, but it was built on quake-prone ground and it soon began to crack and sink. So after the First World War a new church was planned and was finshed and blessed on Jan 19, 1969. There was nothing about the church to attract the attention even of people from its closest surroundings. Nonetheless, since the summer of 1981, it has been the point where millions of pilgrims converge from the whole world. People began coming to see for themselves what was happening in Medjugorje. There they found the message – about the need for faith, prayer, conversion and fasting as preconditions for peace and the salvation of the world.
The church was gradually rearranged, as was the area around it. The remains of the old church are kept in the park in a roundabout to the left of the shrine.