"You are called to be different, to be different from the world in which you are called to live. Like this woman, be critics of those who have power, authority and positions, those who decide the destinies of nations and the world, so that we can all go together towards the strength of faith and witness to the truth. It is no less courageous to be a Christian today than it was in the first century. In this age of 'alternative facts', the challenge is to find the truth." (PHOTO)
''I would also like to thank you for your personal witnessing. You came here from all over the world, thank you for your witness of faith and prayer. The Lord is pleased, the Virgin Mary is rejoicing and I believe St. Francis is here today, smiling at us and helping us to open the doors of Lord’s forgiveness'', were the words with which Friar Massimo Fusarelli concluded his sermon. (PHOTO)
Before the Holy Mass, which was concelebrated by nine bishops and archbishops and 473 priests, the parade took place with the flags of more than seventy countries from which pilgrims came to the Youth Festival this year, and then the message of the Holy Father Pope Francis to the participants of the Youth Festival was read by the Apostolic Visitor with a special in the role for the parish of Medjugorje, Archbishop Aldo Cavalli. (FOTO)
Dear young people, while you are resting in Jesus Christ these days, I entrust you all to the Blessed Virgin Mary, our heavenly Mother, so that by her intercession and example, you may take upon yourself the sweet and easy burden of following Christ. Let the gaze of God the Father who loves you accompany you, so that when you meet others, you can witness the peace that you will receive as a gift in return. I pray for that purpose and I bless you, and at the same time, I entrust myself to your prayers.
Number of Holy Communions: 120 000
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 5123 (165 per day)
The media will be addressed by the apostolic visitor with a special role for the parish of Medjugorje, Archbishop Aldo Cavalli, and the parish priest of Medjugorje, Fr. Marinko Šakota who would present the programme in more details.
The morning and the afternoon programme of the Youth Festival at the White Dome of the church of St. James in Medjugorje, as well as the evening prayer-liturgical program, will be available in Croatian, English, Italian, German, Spanish, French, Russian, Polish, Slovenian, Hungarian, Korean, Ukrainian, Portuguese and Romanian.
Under the motto "Learn from me and you will find peace" (Mt 11, 28-30), this year's International Youth Prayer Festival is being held for the 33rd time, and will last from August 1 to 6. This year again, thousands of young people will listen to catechesis and testimonies, pray, participate in the evening prayer program, and Fr. Marinko told us that Holy Masses will be celebrated and catechesis will be held, among others, by the bishop of Mostar-Duvno, Msgr. Petar Palić, General of the Franciscan Order Fr. Massimo Fusarelli, Provincial of the Franciscan Province of Herzegovina Fr. Jozo Grbeš and others.
The 25th International Spiritual Retreat for Priests began in Medjugorje with an evening prayer and liturgical program on July 4, 2022, which gathered more than 170 participants from 27 countries on the first day. The theme of this year's spiritual retreat for priests, as well as all spiritual retreats in Medjugorje this year, is "Learn from me and you will find peace" (Mt 11, 28-30), at Our Lady's School. (FOTO)
Number of Holy Communions: 200 000
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 3841 (128 per day)
''Medjugorje is Mary, Mary is love, and love is God. That link is so clear! Let's be aware of it. Don’t forget her and don’t just leave. Both Mary and love always lead to the God of love, Christ the Savior!'' (PHOTO)
The visionary Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez had her regular annual apparition on June 25th 2022. At her last daily apparition on May 7, 1985, Our Lady confided to Ivanka the 10th secret and told her that she would have an apparition once a year on the anniversary of the apparitions. It was that way also this year.
The apparition, which lasted 5 minutes (18:34h - 18:39h), took place at Ivanka’s family home. Only Ivanka’s family was present at the apparition. After the apparition, Ivanka said:
Our Lady gave the following message: "Little children, pray, pray, pray."
Our Lady blessed us all.
"Also this year we will go to the church from the Apparition Hill, where it all began 41 years ago, around the statue of Our Lady at 4.30 pm and we will say the prayer that the visionaries said with Our Lady - Creed and Seven Our fathers, Hail Maries and Glory be, all walking in the procession and praying the rosary until we come to the parish church of St. James, where we will all celebrate the 41st anniversary of the apparitions of the Queen of Peace", said Fr. Marinko Šakota.
Number of Holy Communions: 125 000
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 3018 (97 per day)