Pope Francis has given a hint about his take on the reported apparitions of the Virgin Mary at the Medjugorje shrine in southern Bosnia, days after announcing that the Vatican was close to making a decision on their authenticity.

Francis made the comments Tuesday during his morning homily, three days after making a daylong trip to Sarajevo. En route home, Francis said the Vatican would soon decide on whether to formally recognize the phenomenon.

In his homily, Francis dismissed those "who always need novelty in their Christian identity" and say: "But where are the visionaries who tell us today about 'The letter that the Madonna will send tomorrow at 4 p.m.?'"

The Medjugorje apparition has been disputed since 1981, when six youths said they regularly saw visions of the Virgin.