A friend of the youth, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, sent a message at the beginning of the Youth Festival 2015. The Cardinal sent this message from California, where he is at the moment participating in one big conference. The message is as follows:
Number of Holy Communions: 195 500
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 6117 (197 per day)
The Youth Festival is going to be held this year from July 31 to August 6, 2015. The theme of this prayer meeting is “Peace be with you!” Jn 20,21. The programme will be made of catechesis, testimonies, liturgy celebrations, prayers and adoration, and as every year, there will be some surprises as well.
The programme of the 26th International Youth Festival
We are approaching the 26th Youth Festival that will be held in Medjugorje from July 31 to August 6, 2015. One of the major parts of this event is the International Choir conducted by prof. Damir Bunoza for the last six years, and the members are having the intensive rehersals in this period. Prof. Bunoza said it was a great pleasure to have 100 members from 30 different countries:
On Friday, July 31, the 26th Youth Festival will begin with the evening Holy Mass with the theme “Peace be with you”. Great numbers of the youth from all over the world are expected and the final preparations are coming to their end. The International Choir and Orchestra is ready, as well as volunteers of the Franciscan Youth, interpreters, technical team, radio station Mir Medjugorje that will broadcast the event.
Two pilgrims from Germany, Lukas Lorenz and Roland Kiechle arrived by bicycles to Medjugorje two days before the beginning of the Youth Festival. They began their journey in the mid July and they travelled for 1820 km all the way from Munich. They told us they were proud of what they did and very grateful to the Queen of Peace for all of the graces they received and for the opportunity to participate in the Youth Festival: (photos)
The final preparations for the 26th Youth Festival are taking place in the last few days. This International Festival was initiated by late Fr. Slavko Barbaric in 1990, when about hundred young people and two guitarists gathered in the green tent at the back of the church. The number of participants was increasing each year, and this event became the biggest of all those taking place in Medjugorje.
The idea about the prayer encounter of youth was born in the heart of one young pilgrim from England who shared this with late Fr. Slavko Barbaric in the end of the Marian Year in 1988. Fr. Slavko supported this idea and began organisation of the Youth Festival that he led and conducted until his death in 2000. After many conversations and lots of good will, the first Festival was successfully held with the Herzegovinian Franciscans as the main lecturers.
On Saturday, July 18, a group of six pilgrims: Nikola Bodružić, Vigor Grego, Patrik Horvat, Karlo Jandrijević, Matija Ricov and Danijel Stanić began their journey towards Medjugorje. Their 15 - days long journey began and they decided to walk 30-35 km each day. They called their pilgrimage„Labora et ambulans ora“ meaning „Work and pray walking“, similar to motto of St. Benedict, as they decided to walk, pray and praise God on their trip.
Medjugorje parish celebrated the feast of St. James, its patron saint this Saturday, July 25, 2015. The Holy Masses in Croatian language were celebrated at 7, 8 a.m. and at 7 p.m., while the central Holy Mass was celebrated at 11 a.m. in the Garden opposite to the old parish church. The main celebrant was Fr. Josip Serdjo Cavar, parishioner of Medjugorje, who is now serving in Posusje. (photos)
Vince Owen from England u came to Medjugorje for a pilgrimage with his family. He came here for the first time in 1988, and he gladly accepted to share his experience as well as to tell us more about the project called "Krizevac/Cross Mountain". This is what he told us: "We work in Malawi on a project Cross Mountain. The connection of Malawi, England and Cross Mountain is quite interesting as it unites few different stories.
Many experiences of various pilgrims remain hidden from the public, but we also very often have chance to talk to those who do not hesitate to speak publicly about the special graces given to them at Gospa' intercession. Here we bring story of Gabrielle Colins from Ireland. She came to Medjugorje for the first time just because of her sister: „I was raised and grew as Catholic, but eventually with years, I stopped going to the church.
On Saturday, July 25, we will celebrate the Feast of St. James, patron saint of Medjugorje parish, parish established in 1892, and from the very beginning it was consecrated to St. James, patron saint of pilgrims. Holy Masses are going to be celebrated at 7, 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. while the central celebration will be at 11 a.m. in the Garden opposite to the ruins of the old church.
28 priests from China participated in the seminar for the priests held in Medjugorje. Fr. Joseph Dong from Xian town, province Shaan Xi, told us more about how that all came to be. “This is like a real miracle to us. Nevertheless, the pilgrimages from Hong Kong to Medjugorje are more frequent in the last few years. It was faithful from our parishes who found out about this seminar and informed us about it.
The 16th International Seminar for Married Couples that gathered 34 married couples and three priests from Slovakia, Ukraine, the United States, France, Italy, Croatia and Bosnia and Herezgovina, was held in Medjugorje from July 12-15, 2015, with the theme: “Marriage and family – the beginning of the better world in Gospa’s school.” (photos)