The 28th Youth Festival was concluded with the Holy Mass of Thanksgiving, celebrated by the parish priest Fr. Marinko Sakota on the top of Cross Mountain on Sunday, August 6, at 5 am. The Youth Festival began on Tuesday, August 1, 2017 with the theme “That your love may grow more” and gathered dozens of thousands of young people from 61 countries. (photos)
On Friday, August 4, the Youth Festival programme continued in Medjugorje. It started with the morning prayer, led by the coordinator, parish priest, Fr. Marinko Sakota, and Fr. Jacques Philippe from the Beatitudes Community gave also this day his catechesis. (photos)
The central part of this day was also Holy Mass, celebrated at 7 pm by Fr. Emanuel Josić, OFM, newly ordained priest of the Franciscan Province of Bosnia Argentum. Cardinal Ernest Simoni-Troshani from Albania gave a homily and there were 507 priests concelebrating. The evening prayer programme had 764 740 live-stream viewers.
Sr. Irena Jozić from Varaždin, member of the order of Ursuline sisters came for the 28th Youth Festival. This is what she said about her impressions:
„I am glad I was able to be here a bit and to participate at the programme that is so rich and spiritually full of joy, communion and warmth.
On Thursday, August 3, Angela Hayes from Ireland gave her testimony along with her family. She spoke about their life tragedy and how they found salvation in Medjugorje. Her son Alan is a member of the International Choir and at the end, he sang a song Survivor that he devoted to his mom.
Also this year, all of the participants were again remembered by our dear friend, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn from Vienna who sent them a message:
„Dear young friends!
On Wednesday, August 2, young people climbed Apparition Hill to pray the Rosary at 6 am and the programme continued at 9 am at the White Dome with the morning prayer led by the Youth Festival Coordinator, Fr. Marinko Sakota, and with the catechesis with the theme of the parable of the sower given by Fr. Danko Perutina, who conducted this Festival for many years and is now the guardian of the monastery in Mostar. (photos)
Letizia Centorbi from Italy gave her testimony during the morning part of the programme on August 2. She spoke about her conversion in Medjugorje and introduced her new song „Regina della pace“ that she wrote eight years ago.
Journalists of Radio „Mir“ Međugorje during the Youth Festival have been talking to many young people and they are trying to share their experiences in the programme of radio Mir. Marko Šteko from Osijek has been coming for the fifth year now to the Youth Festival.
In order for the Youth Festival to be running in the best way possible, the young volunteers, the members of YouFra Medjugorje are trying to do their best. Josipa Sivrić, president of YouFra Međugorje said that around 150 volunteers, led by their spiritual assistant Fr. Perica Ostojić are there at disposal to the pilgrims:
Around 30 nuns from Ukraine, belonging to the Eastern Church, are participating at the 28th Youth Festival in Medjugorje. Sr. Veronika Galatan, member of the Order of St. Basil the Great, has been coming to Medjugorje for years and this is her second time to be at the Youth Festival. This is what Sr. Veronika said for the programme of Radio Mir.
Young cyclists arrived to Medjugorje from Virovitica on July 31, after six of them began their 690 km long journey on July 26. Upon arriving, they prayed at the Statue of Our Lady. For some of them this is the fifth time to come to this place filled with prayer.
Number of Holy Communions: 149 300
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 5364 (173 per day)
Feast of St. James, patron saint of Medjugorje parish was solemnly celebrated on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. Holy Masses in Croatian language were celebrated in the parish church at 7,8 am and 7 pm, while the central Holy Mass was celebrated at 11 am in the Garden, by Fr. Ivan Landeka who used to be parish priest in Medjugorje for many years and now serves in the parish of St. Francis in Posuski Gradac.
Valerio Caprino was a member of Swiss Guard at the time of the pontificate of Holy Father Benedict XVI, from 2006/2011. These days he came to Medjugorje for the first time with his wife „I come from Switzerland and I am 31. My wife and I talked to few of our friends who have been here and they all told us we needed to visit Medjugorje, that this place was amazing.