Medjugorje Youth Festival

       (c) Mary TV 2014  (Youth Festival)

August 1, 2016
St. Alphonsus Liguori
Dear Family of Mary!
May 16, 1985
"Dear children! I am calling you to a more active prayer and attendance at Holy Mass. I wish your Mass to be an experience of God. I wish especially to say to the young people: be open to the Holy Spirit because God wishes to draw you to Himself in these days when satan is at work. Thank you for having responded to my call."
Our Lady has a special place in her heart for young people. Didn't she choose six young people to be her visionaries in Medjugorje? I often marvel at how loyal and dedicated the visionaries have been to Our Lady and her call. From the first day they spoke to her, 35 years ago, they have remained steadfast in their commitment to Our Lady and her coming to them. I suspect she knew that young people would be able to adapt to the life of a visionary much easier than older persons. Young people are available in a way that older people are not!
In June of 1983 Our Lady also organized a group of young people through Jelena Vasilj to become a prayer group especially molded by Our Lady through Jelena.
(June 1983) Jelena received the following message: Our Lady says:
"I want a prayer group here. I will lead the group and will give the group rules of consecration. Everyone else in the world can consecrate themselves according to these rules. Think it over for a month, but tell them about the conditions I am giving:"
"First of all, let them renounce everything and place themselves completely into God's hands. Let each one of them renounce any fear because, if you surrender yourself to God, there is no place for any fear whatsoever. All difficulties that they will meet, will be for their spiritual growth and for the glory of God. I invite the young and single people, because those who are married have their obligations. But anyone who wishes to participate in this program can follow it at least partially. I will lead the group."
Obviously, Our Lady wanted to take these young people under her wing, and train them for prayer. Again she showed her special love for young people.
Also, Our Lady gave a message to Pope John Paul II through the visionaries:
Friday, September 16, 1983
"Pray, pray, pray! Do not be discouraged. Be in peace because God gives you the grace to defeat satan."

"In my messages, I recommend to everyone, and to the Holy Father in particular, to spread the message which I have received from my Son here at Medjugorje. I wish to entrust to the Pope, the word with which I came here: 'MIR', (peace in Croatian), which he must spread everywhere. And here is a message which is especially for him: That he bring together the Christian people, through his words and his preaching; that he spread particularly among the young people, the messages which he has received from the Father in his prayers, when God inspires him."
The next year Pope John Paul II organized a gathering of young people in Rome that developed into the World Youth Day movement.
In 1984 at the close of the Holy Year of Redemption, over 300,000 young people from around the world responded to the invitation of His Holiness John Paul II for an International Jubilee of youth on Palm Sunday in St. Peter's square. Looking out to the crowds who answered his invitation he said, "What a fantastic spectacle is presented on this stage by your gathering here today! Who claimed that today's youth has lost their sense of values? Is it really true that they cannot be counted on?" It was at this gathering that the Holy Father entrusted to the youth what is now known as the World Youth Day Cross, to be carried throughout the world as a symbol of the love of Christ for humanity.
The following Palm Sunday, coinciding with the United Nation's International Year of the Youth, Our Holy Father took the opportunity to welcome the youth of the world to Rome again. Later, announcing the institution of World Youth Day on December 20, 1985, and the first official WYD was held in 1986. (http://worldyouthday.com/about-wyd/wyd-history)
I do not think it is a coincidence that Our Lady gave the September 16, 1983 message to the Holy Father, and in 1984 he began to gather youth to encourage and teach them.
Then in 1990 the first Youth Festival took place. Here is what Fr. Marinko Sakota, the pastor of St. James, said about the Youth Festival:
The August 1, the opening day of the 27th Youth Festival is approaching, the event that late Fr. Slavko Barbaric initiated in 1990. Our radio hosted people who spoke about the history of this event, but also about Fr. Slavko's relationship with the youth. Fr. Marinko Sakota, parish priest from Medjugorje, who has been conducting this Festival for the last few years said:
"Fr. Slavko received this idea from the others, it was not originally his idea, but he was the one who accepted it and realised it. Fr. Slavko was listening to the young people, his ears were opened for their needs. It all began in 1990, with few hundred young people who gathered here. Their wish was to have the spiritual renewal held in the summer, with music and prayer and he accomplished that. The beginnings were in little steps, but those little steps can lead to major, huge results.
"Dozens of thousands of young people gather each year in Medjugorje from all over the world. Even though they are different, they function as one, all of the day they are out in the sun, not bothered by the heat, as thy know what is the reason of their coming here:
"Once a young person experiences love and peace, nothing can bother them anymore, nothing can be a problem for them. They feel good here. They feel at home, with the Mother, loved and protected. This is the experience of the Youth Festival. When I was younger, regardless of where I used to be, I was always coming here for this event when Fr. Slavko led it. This was like a spiritual renewal for me. I felt this was something that helped me renew in the spiritual terms", said Fr. Marinko. (http://www.medjugorje.hr/en/news/the-27th-youth-festival-to-start,8123.htm l )
 The Youth Festival is an initiative of Our Lady. She loves young people, and has always worked to provide spiritual protection and guidance for the young. Through the visionaries she came to give us all her messages, young though they were. She encouraged Pope John Paul II to shepherd the young people in the entire Church. And through Fr. Slavko she began the Youth Festivals that have helped thousands of young people to meet Jesus and His Mother, and to find true meaning in their lives.
Today marks the beginning of the 27th Youth Festival in Medjugorje! Mary TV will stream as much of the festival as possible each day! Here is the schedule for August 1. Join us as we participate in this miraculous week of prayer, witnessing and Eucharistic celebration!
August 1, 2016
Day One of the Youth Festival
Evening Rosary: 18.00 (Medj) -  (12:00 pm EDT)
Solemn Opening of the Festival : 19.00 -(1:00 pm EDT)
Adoration : 21.00-22.00 (3:00 pm EDT)
(We will not have Hour of Mercy this week. Daily Rosary today will be 16:00 Medj - and there is no English Mass during the festival)
Let's pray for the young people gathering for the festival. May God pour out His amazing Mercy upon them, healing them, converting them, speaking to their hearts and drawing them to Himself!! May Mercy flow over everyone gathered in Medjugorje!
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
©Mary TV 2016

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