Preparing for this evening’s opening Mass at the Medjugorje Youth Festival...Archbishop Luigi Pezzuto, apostolic nuncio for Bosnia & Hercegovina; Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Vicar General of Rome; Archbishop Henry Hoser, Apostolic Visitor to Medjugorje; bishop Jose Rodriguez Carballo, Minister General of the Franciscan Order and Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Society of Apostolic Life; Msgr Vlado Košić, bishop of the Diocese of Sisak. photo: Digital Foto Video Studio ĐANI
“The Holy Father has opened a great door to Medjugorje”
August 1, 2019: Medjugorje’s 30th International Youth Prayer Festival – Mladifest – began today. More than 50,000 young people and 500 priests are in attendance. The motto of this year's festival is “Follow Me” (Mk 10:21). At a press conference held this evening at Radio Medjugorje, the parish priest Fr Marinko Sakota OFM presented the Mladifest programme along with Apostolic Visitor, Archbishop Henryk Hoser, who spoke about the significance of Medjugorje in the Church and the Youth Festival.
“In the annual life of Medjugorje, the Youth Festival has the strongest meaning because it brings together the largest number of pilgrims and is significant because these pilgrims are young, and they signify our future, the future of our world and a better future. Young people are our hope. This year is the 30th Youth Festival. This meeting is significant because it puts into service all the human capacities of all those who work here,” said Archbishop Hoser, who also addressed the issue of new evangelization in Medjugorje when asked by a journalist.
“We are definitely in a new dynamic of new evangelization. I am personally and intimately convinced that Medjugorje offers a new model of new evangelization. Medjugorje is not under the direct banner of the Pontifical Council for New Evangelization, but is under the care of the State Secretariat of the Holy See. In May, the Holy See announced that it was allowed to organise official pilgrimages by parishes, dioceses, bishops, cardinals, and that they could be present at the festive celebrations. These these days we are witnessing this, which means that the Holy Father has opened a great door for entering Medjugorje,” said Msgr Hoser.
Fr Marinko referred to this year’s programme, as well as the three decades of the Mladifest so far.
“The message of Mladifest is expressed in the motto Follow me. In every man there is a longing, a longing for peace, for truth. Jesus says ‘follow me’. There are young people who find that longing for Jesus and longing for peace,” said Fr Marinko.
• sources: IKA and Radio Mir Medjugorje, Digital Foto Video Studio ĐANI
Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Vicar General of Rome, addresses the large youth gathering at the opening Mass of Mladifest,
and incenses the Queen of Peace statue presented at the side of the altar. photos: Digital Foto Video Studio ĐANI