The 29th Youth Festival finished this morning with the Holy Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated at the top of Cross Mountain at 5 am, on August 6, 2018, by Fr. Marinko Sakota, the parish priest. The Youth Festival began on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 and was held with the theme “ Living on the Word of God”, when dozens of thousands of youth from 72 countries gathered. The programme began each day with the morning prayer at the White Dome of St. James’ church, continued with catechesis, testimonies, music and some inspiring thoughts from our Christian life. On Thursday, August 2, youth gathered at the Apparition Hill for the prayer of the Rosary at 6 am.
Morning catechises were given by Fr. Ante Vučković (Thursday and Friday) and the Apostolic Visitor for the parish of Medjugorje, Mons. Henryk Hoser on Saturday. The prayer of the Rosary was every day at 6 pm and the central event of the day was always the evening Holy Mass at 7 pm.
The opening Holy Mass and Homily on August 1 were given by Mons. Luigi Pezzuto, the Apostolic Nuncio to Bosni aand Herzegovina, with 472 priests concelebrating. Celebrants on the following days were Fr. Ante Vučković, Fr. Marinko Šakota, parish priest of Medjugorje, Fr. Miljenko Šteko, the Provincial of Herzegovina Franciscan Province and the Apostolic Visitor for the parish of Medjugorje, Mons. Henryk Hoser.
The largest number of the priests concelebrating was on Friday - 570 of them, on Wednesday there were 473, Thursday 548, Saturday 537 and on Sunday 485 priests.
On Friday, August 4, after the evening Holy Mass, there was the procession with the statue of Our Lady in front of the White Dome, carried by the youth from Medjugorje, followed by the young representatives of each country. The Statue was brought back to the altar, when Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament began and Benediction.
On Saturday, August 4, members of Cenacolo community gave a performance play after the Holy Mass. Priests were available for the sacrament of confession for the most of the day. Every day, the service and the programme was more beautiful thanks to the singing and music of the International Choir and Orchestra, conducted by the prof. Damir Bunoza, made of the youth from 23 countries. The festival was simultaneously translated into 17 languages, and many radio stations, web sites and TV stations broadcasted and live streamed the whole event. Besides radio Mir Medjugorje the whole day and night programme was also taken by Radio Maria from 8 countries, Laudato TV (Croatia), Espanol TV, Kit TV, Kathtube and many more. There were 1076600 live streaming viewers of the programme on the last evening. (photos)