Friday, October 25, 2019

Medjugorje: "Where Man Encounters God"

2019 Medjugorje Youth Festival - 30th Annual Mladifest!

I wanted to share about an amazing 5-day event that took place in Medjugorje at the beginning of August. At which, Archbishop Henryk Hoser, the Pope's personal representative to this place of ongoing daily reported apparitions lasting nearly 40 years, spoke of Medjugorje as being"something that one needs to encounter. It is that invisible reality, yet intensive and very much present. This is the world of the spirit, the world where man encounters God." [Please see below for his full remarks].
This year was monumental in many ways as fourteen of the highest representatives of the Church gathered to witness and take part in the 30th Annual Youth Festival. Resulting in the Catholic News Service report that stated: “Vatican confirms Medjugorje approval by joining youth festival." They are referring to the Pope's decree in May that opened wide the door to official parish and diocesan pilgrimages to Medjugorje.

An estimated 60,000 youth from 97 countries attended the festival. This is an addition to the millions who have journeyed to be a part of this celebration over the last 30 years. Also, reports stated that more than 700 priests were hearing confessions all day long - every day. Imagine!
   I haven’t had the chance to go, but from what I’ve heard, the Festival that those who attend are touched deeply and profoundly by the experience.

That’s exactly what the top representatives of the Church said in interviews following the events. For instance, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the Vatican head for the Promotion of the New Evangelization celebrated the last Mass of the Youth Festival. In his interviews following the events, who has pastoral responsibility for Marian shrines of the world, said:
this place is the destination for millions of pilgrims each year
·     I was … impressed by the great number of youth here. Yes, this was the 30th Youth Festival, however it felt for me as I was again on the World Youth Day. I think this is one really important event that defines Medjugorje and involves so many people. Not only in accommodating all these young pilgrims, but also in formation they receive. The prayer programme is enriched with catechesis and dialogue, something of great importance in New Evangelization in these times.
·      Prayer is at the first place, in its peak in the Holy Eucharist and the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. I need to emphasize that the event that took place on the last evening is really significant. After two hours of the intensive Eucharistic celebration, we could witness the profound silence of so many youth and 800 priests who remained in the Eucharistic Adoration.
·      Those are the elements of the New Evangelization”.

“Radio Medjugorje reported … that parts of the festival had been watched via the internet by more than 2.8 million people worldwide.”

In addition to just reading reports about the youth festival, we can still experience it today via the internet - by watching videos from all five days of events – including watching the speakers, homilies, testimonies, processions, adoration and prayers here:

Also, you can still access news of each day’s events and homilies at the following links found on the official Medjugorje parish website:

Day 1:

The jubilee 30th Youth Festival began with the Holy Mass celebrated by Cardinal Angelo de Donatis, General Vicar of Rome, with 620 Archbishops, bishops and priests concelebrating. Dozens of thousands of youth were gathered here and there were 1.747.100 live-stream viewers all over the world, never as many as on this day. (PHOTO)
Objavljeno: 02.08.2019.

Day 2:
The Apostolic Nuncio to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Archbishop Luigi Pezzuto, was the main celebrant on the second day of the Youth Festival, with 678 priests concelebrating and more than 1.996.700 live-stream viewers from all over the world. (PHOTO)

Archbishop Henryk Hoser, the Apostolic Visitor for the parish of Medjugorje celebrated on the third day of the Youth Festival the evening Holy Mass with 689 priests concelebrating. There were 2.258.400 live-stream followers through the providers of Information Centre Mir Medjugorje from all over the world. (PHOTO)
Objavljeno: 04.08.2019.

Fr. Marinko Sakota read the greetings given by Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schönborn.
I am already looking forward to being able to come to Medjugorje for the next Mladifest, if God wills it. Pray for Pope Francis, to whom we owe so much.
Objavljeno: 05.08.2019.

Day 4:
At the beginning of Holy Mass, Fr. Marinko Sakota, OFM, thanked Cardinal of Vrhbosna Vinko Puljic, for his coming here and expressed his great joy as our shepherd from Bosnia and Herzegovina joined us here.
“Your Most Reverend Eminence, I know how long you have waited for this moments and how you longed to be with us in Medjugorje. I know how much you were with us and sympathised with us in these years”, said Fr. Marinko. (PHOTO)
Objavljeno: 05.08.2019.

Day 5:
Archbishop Rino Fisichella celebrated Holy Mass with 714 priests concelebrating and there were 2.856.000 live stream followers, with hundreds of thousands of those who watched live broadcasting on TV networks. (PHOTO)
Objavljeno: 16.08.2019.
Interview following Youth Festival:
MSGR. Hoser: The first reaction and the first thing I have to say is that bishops, archbishops and cardinals from Rome and other places, were at first surprised. They discovered an unknown reality that was often hidden. They were very moved, sensitised by the atmosphere that was at the Youth Festival, by the enthusiasm and joy shown by the young people. (PHOTO)
Objavljeno: 16.08.2019.

Another Interview:
As we know, one branch of the New Evangelisation has pastoral responsibility for the shrines in the world. Even though Medjugorje has still not been officially recognised as the shrine, this place is the destination for millions of pilgrims each year. Since we too have the responsibility for pilgrimages, I received this invitation with great gratitude, as it has brought me here.
Objavljeno: 16.09.2019.

Finally, I’d like to share a few thoughts from the homily by the Pope’s representative in Medjugorje, the Apostolic Visitor, Archbishop Henryk Hoser, which was given on Day 3 of the Festival and was found at the link above:

"At the first sight, [there is] nothing special about this Croatian, peasant parish, surrounded with vineyards and green hills.
However, Medjugorje is also something that one needs to encounter…
It is that invisible reality, yet intensive and very much present. This is the world of the spirit, the world where man encounters God and this encounter takes place inside each of us, it takes place in our hearts. Poor human hearts that jump for joy or [are] devastated with pain…
To dwell with the Most Holy Trinity in our hearts… is where our Mother of God and our Mother is leading us to, the same Mother from Czestochowa, from Vilnus, Lourdes, Fatima, Kibeho and from Medjugorje, the Queen of Peace. Let us allow her to lead us!”

I pray that these words, images and videos move us.
May they help us experience the “invisible reality, the world of the spirit, the world where man encounters God” that is so “intensely present” in Medjugorje that Archbishop Hoser proclaims in his homily.
And I pray that Our Mother’s coming to earth is not a gift that God has given to us in vain.
Mary, Our Lady, Queen of Peace and our Mother, help us to become instruments in helping bring about your Triumph that you first prophesied in Fatima and have echoed in Medjugorje – a Triumph we so desperately need in this world of ever-increasing darkness.
Thank you, Almighty Father, for allowing Mary to be present to us in such a supernatural way in this time of extraordinary mercy. May we use this time wisely, and by the prayers and sacrifice we offer, may many souls be saved for your glory. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

© Janet Moore 2019. All Rights Reserved.

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    1. You're welcome! I'm so glad you got to experience it firsthand! How wonderful!