The program of the 33rd International Youth Prayer Encounter continued also on August 3 and will be held until August 6 under the motto: Learn from me and you will find peace. In the morning part of the programme, after the prayer at 9 o'clock led by Fr. Marinko Šakota, Fr. Massimo Fusarelli, Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, spoke and pointed out the motto of this year's Youth Festival.
"In the company of the Virgin Mary, we can trust in the Lord, go to Him, to be in a relationship with Him, a gentle game that does not break us, but makes us truly become who we are. In freedom, the true freedom, we can find rest and enjoy peace. Dear young people, please accept this freedom of religion, take this freedom home, where you live, it will be the greatest gift that the Lord, through the Virgin Mary, has given to you young people and to all of us these days and don't take the gift as something you put in your pocket. Also please say, moreover, shout with your life that following the Lord Jesus is the path of freedom, joy, true ability to love, peace that no one else can give," said Fr. Massimo Fusarelli.
Antonio di Tommaso from Italy and Jakov Čolo, a visionary from Medjugorje, gave a testimony this morning, who expressed his joy for speaking to young people. He said that everyone was invited to Medjugorje by our Heavenly Mother.
The afternoon program began with the testimony of Stijepo Gledj Markos, who played and sang several of his spiritual compositions. He spoke about his life and musical journey, growing up without a father, wandering around, searching for the meaning of life, until a complete turn in his life when he made a life confession at the persuasion of a priest, after which his life changed, because he invited Jesus to enter his life and change it. He also said that he was a fierce opponent of the rosary.
Little by little, as the Lord opened my heart, as Mother slowly nursed me, she taught me to pray the rosary. The Lord taught me everything about life through this. Therefore, dear young people, it is never too late for a person to listen to Jesus in his heart and to do what the Lord calls him to do. I always wanted fame, and in the end I met Jesus, who leads me on the path of humility in every moment of my activity,'' said Stijepo Gledj Markos to the young people.
As every evening, from 6 pm, the prayer of the rosary followed, and then the Holy Mass, which was celebrated by the Provincial of the Franciscan Province of Herzegovina, Fr. Jozo Grbeš, and concelebrated by 564 priests.
In his homily, he said that young people came to this Mladifest to find the truth, which always leads to Christ.
"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", said Fr. Jozo, urging young people to be honest, to renounce what separates families, to reject selfishness, violence...
He urged the youth to seek wisdom and not to be afraid.
"Don't be afraid! Do not let fear enter your souls. Christ greeted his friends after the resurrection with exactly that greeting: do not be afraid, I am here. How simple this wisdom is: Where he is there is no fear. Where he is, no one is lost. No one is redundant. No one was crossed. Therefore, let this blessed time of your stay here be a time of communion with Christ. That's what Mary tells us. That's what your heart tells you, that opens up all the treasures of wisdom, happiness, joy. This makes you free and brave to go home and be witnesses: witnesses of ordinariness, witnesses of simplicity, witnesses of love, witnesses of truth, witnesses of hope - witnesses of Christ,'' Fr. Jozo Grbeš said, noting at the end that these days there are young people from around 70 countries in Medjugorje and he called on all of them not to be silent when they return to their countries among their friends.
"Create Medjugorje in 70 countries, which are crying out for the spirit. Don't be satisfied with the status quo. Faith is a dynamic reality. It does not stand, because when we stand we die, when we stand we go down, when we stand we disappear. Staying the same is the beginning of dying. Staying the same is boring and contrary to the Spirit. So please go ahead. In the name of Christ, with Christ and by the power of Mary, with Mary and it will be nice for you. Your soul will be like a mountain and your heart will be full lot and you will become witnesses forever. It's a fantastic life, let it be yours too,'' concluded Fr. Jozo Grbeš, Provincial of the Franciscan Province of Herzegovina.
Mass was followed by Veneration of the Cross and meditation with candles. The light came from the Easter candle and was spread to thousands of people with candles in the area around the Medjugorje church, which was completely filled with parishioners and pilgrims from all over the world, who symbolically received that light when it reached them, and then gave it to others and in that way the light of Jesus was spread among them. (PHOTO)