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The 31st Medjugorje Youth Festival – Mladifest 2020 – gets underway in a week’s time starting on August 1st. Former pastor at Medjugorje Fr Tomislav Pervan asks who is calling all these young people when the coast is only an hour’s drive away.

I am here as a messenger of Medjugorje. I was born in 1946 and ordained in 1969. Medjugorje has become the main part of my life. It is more important to be a sign than to look for signs.


No sin can make us happy. We are told (Romans 14:17) that the Kingdom of God is justice and peace and joy brought by the Holy Spirit.


People are coming to Medjugorje with empty hearts looking for God. Last year 25,000 young people came to Medjugorje for the seven-day Youth Festival. They were from 40 nations. There were confessions around the clock and 400 priests were there. One day there was a procession of the Blessed Sacrament around the village, stretching for four miles.


For me, this is the biggest spiritual event of the Church. On the Feast of the Transfiguration, Mass was celebrated in the late afternoon on Mt Krizevac. There were 100 priests present. It seemed like a miracle.


Who is calling these young people? Who is leading them? It’s only a one-hour drive to the coast, yet they prefer to be in Medjugorje. The seven days of the Youth Festival are the highlight of the whole Medjugorje event – and they bring deep peace, even more than for the Anniversary when up to 100,000 people are here for a week. All the talks and messages are translated into 17 languages, available on FM radio.


Medjugorje can be summarised with these words: Come and see, and experience peace and grace.
All those who come as true pilgrims will find peace. Medjugorje has become the biggest place of conversion, even for those who come as tourists.


Medjugorje is a matter of heart – approach with your heart, not with your head. Then you will become a new creation, renewed by the Holy Spirit. Come and see – this is what Jesus said to his disciples, yet Jesus had no home.


Jesus is something like Utopia – no place – but in his heart there is room for everyone. And Our Lady is our Mother and Queen.

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