The 21st Youth Festival that began on Sunday, August 1st with the main theme: “Good Master, what shall I do to inherit the eternal life, ended on Friday, August 6th with the Holy Mass at 5 a.m. on the top of the Cross Mountain that was celebrated by Fr. Danko Perutina.
On the previous evening, during the farewell, Medjugorje Parish Priest Fr. Petar Vlasic, thanked everybody for participation, wished them safe and blessed journey home and invited them to come again, for the 22nd Youth Festival that is to be held in the following year, first week in August. Dozens of thousands of young people from 69 various world countries were there during the first evening of the Festival, but their number was increasing with every evening and at the end number of participating countries was more than seventy. The programme would start every day at 9 a.m. with the Morning Prayer, and testimonies, lectures and songs would continue until 12 a.m. After recess, programme would restart at 4 p.m. and would last until Rosary at 6 p.m. that would introduce us into the highlight of the whole day, celebration of the Holy Eucharist at 7 p.m.
The main celebrants this year were our newly ordained Franciscans who had recently celebrated their first solemn Holy Masses, and homilies were given by Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic, Fr. Marinko Sakota, Fr. Ivan Ivanda and Fr. Iko Skoko. Every evening, there were more than 500 concelebrants as well. Besides priests, there were various other speakers this year, from regular lay people with ordinary experiences to scientist, academics and bishops. On Tuesday, August 3rd there was the Procession through the parish with large, hardly countable number of participants.
The programme was simultaneously translated in various world languages: English, German, Italian, Korean, Russian, Spanish, French, Slovakian, Czech, Arabian, Chinese, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovenian, Polish and Hungarian, while some smaller language groups translated into their own languages as well.
The international orchestra and choir, conducted by Professor Damir Bunoza, made the whole programme more beautiful with their song and music. This year is also special because of two video walls placed outside the church, so young people could follow the whole programme in much better way.
There were dozens of accredited press members who were reporting for their radio or TV stations, one of the greatest being BBC – British Broadcasting Corporation, the largest corporation for both radio and TV programme, who were also filming their own documentary.
And while young people are returning to their homes, being spiritually renewed and strengthened in their faith, new groups of pilgrims are arriving to Medjugorje with each day. (foto)