Catholics gather at the site where the Virgin Mary reportedly appeared in an apparition in Medjugorje, 120km (75 miles) south of Sarajevo, June 25, 2009. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj (BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA RELIGION)
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The Lebanese appeared unconcerned by comments made by Pope Francis last week that cast doubt on claims of apparitions seen at the popular holy site in the Bosnian town of Medjugorje, with several saying that his remarks were taken out of context.The site has grown in popularity over the last few decades with estimates of the number of visitors per year exceeding 1 million, with thousands of Lebanese making the pilgrimage annually.However, numerous Lebanese people who had made the trip or were planning to told The Daily Star they were unfazed by the remarks."I go every year [to Medjugorje] because it is heaven on Earth, in my opinion, and I will continue to go," Abi Khalil said.Another Lebanese woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said she had gone twice and would continue to go regardless of the accuracy of the apparitions.The report has not yet been published, but was given to Francis in 2014 .Six children in Medjugorje first reported visions of the Virgin Mary in 1981, in a scenario reminiscent of famous apparitions that were reported in Lourdes in the 19th century and 100 years ago in Fatima, which Francis visited last Friday and Saturday.
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