The 25th International Youth Festival began

date: 01.08.2014.

Medjugorje is all about young people in these days – we have the 25th International Youth Festival that is being held with theme: “Behold, your Mother”. On Friday morning, the young people visited Apparition Hill where the Morning Prayer was held led byFr. Marinko Sakota, the parish priest of Medjugorje parish. The official beginning of the Festival was on Thursaday, July 31 at the White Dome. Fr. Dragan Bolcic led the prayer of Rosary and the opening Holy Mass was celebrated by the Provincial of Herzegovina Franciscan Province, Dr. Fr. Miljenko Steko, with 335 priests concelebrating. At the beginning of the celebration, young people from Medjugorje parish spoke to all and welcomed them to their parish and then, the introduction of every country followed. The host, parish priest, Fr. Miljenko Steko, welcomed all of the youth and said: “Welcome to the Queen of Peace, to Mother in her school, to the Mother that loves you and leads you to her Son Jesus, for She knows the best way to Him.” Fr. Miljenko in his homily said that Medjugorje is a place of graces that draws us to Mother’s embrace: “She loves us, She returns us to our basic need that restores our peace, love to God and love to men. Step out of the virtual world and touch first your fellow brother that you have rejected and despised, that you cannot stand and wish him all but goodness! Touch him with your purified gaze, touch him with your hand, look for beauty anew for he was created at the image and likeness of God. Is there any person in this world that you cannot stand, that you wish her evil or hate her? Perhaps, it is someone who is really close to you? Please allow, dear brother and sister, that your stone heart unable to forgive may be imbued by the Love of Christ that forgives! Forgive now in your heart and you will shine with the light of reconciliation. In the sacrament of confession in these days, try to establish yourself as a new person, person worthy of receiving Christ, His Body and to become one with Him and you will find your peace. You will be able again to say with full confidence as the one to whom we came here: May it be to me according to Thy Word. You will be able to trust in Divine Providence and to know that God is always with us. He did not promise that there will not be any suffering and wounds, nor that we will not have difficult moments in our lives but He promised to be with us in all days until the end of the world and He would never let us down. God does not abandon people. People, sadly, can abandon God and in that way condemn themselves. God does not give up on men and always gives them opportunity to convert, thereby what are we afraid of? Why the fear? May each one of us on our way of conversion be embraced by the Mother, the Queen of Peace!” The Festival that gathered few dozens of thousands of people from all over the world, will finish on Wednesday, August 6, with Holy Mass on top of Cross Mountain at 5 a.m. The programme is broadcasted live by radio station “Mir” Medjugorje and many other radio stations, internet portals and TV stations. The Festival is marked by prayer, song, lectures, testimonies and everything is more beautiful thanks to the International Choir and Orchestra where young people from 20 countries are participating. The Youth Festival is simultaneously translated in 17 languages. (photos)