09.00 Prayer, Catechesis, Testimonies
19.00 Holy Mass
20.30 – 21.30 Procession with Our Lady’s statue
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
Ladies and Gentlemen, Good evening!
This encounter is important because this encounter is putting into service the abilities of all who work here. And this role of the media is important because it will pass on the message of Medjugorje.
What is Medjugorje. Medjugorje is one simple parish. There is no other title for Medjugorje. It is not a shrine or a basilica. It is a parish that is open to all the parishioners who live here, and it affects all the other parishes here and around the world. During the whole year pilgrims are coming from the whole world, and today they are coming from at least 80 countries.
From the material point of view, Medjugorje is nothing special. Medjugorje is offering a completely natural landscape. And what happens is that pilgrims are gathering from all over the world. They carry all different situations. But here they find communion. Here we discover that we are all sons and daughters of one Father. We discover that we are all sons and daughters of one Mother. We are all here under the influence of the Holy Spirit. And this phenomenon we will see during this youth festival.
People who come here, especially young people, discover one dimension of life that was hidden. It is the spiritual dimension of life. This is the most important dimension of human life. It is the dimension that creates. The spiritual dimension we call the vertical dimension. And this is what the two hills show, Apparition Hill and Cross Mountain. For you to feel these mountains, you must climb. And all those who are at the base of the mountain get up and climb.
For Medjugorje, two things are necessary. Time. It takes time, at least one week to be here. It also takes place. Here in Medjugorje we have three places. The first place is the Church. Second is Cross Mountain. Cross Mountain which was consecrated to Christ the Redeemer. The Third is Apparition Hill. It is the place of our Lady.
The First sign is the church. A few days ago, we celebrated the feast day of St. James, the patron of Medjugorje. The parish, established in 1892, was consecrated to the Patron Saint James, the Patron Saint of pilgrims. Just like pilgrims go to Saint James of Compostela, pilgrims now come to St. James of Medjugorje.
The second sign here is Cross Mountain. No one knew its future meaning. The Cross was erected in 1933, the Jubilee Year of the Death of Christ.
And the third sign is Apparition Hill where Our Lady came – This is the Holy Triangle of Medjugorje.
Also, another sign is the new church which was consecrated in 1969. At that time, it was too big. Too big for the population that lived here at that time, because it was a small village. Now this has become the world’s parish, and that church is too small for everyone.
The phenomenon of Medjugorje has held for over 38 years. In these 38 years what has been created is something offered to pilgrims, something most precious. What was created were the paths where we climb Apparition Hill and we meditate on the mysteries of the Rosary. And on Cross Mountain, we pray the way of the Cross. And during these 38 years, we worked on the canon of Medjugorje, the Liturgy and para-liturgy that happens around the church. Medjugorje has a weekly program. We need to spend at least one week here, because what is offered is very different.
Catechesis is offered and Holy Mass in many languages. Pilgrims have the possibility to participate in Spiritual retreats and conferences. And what is so special in Medjugorje are the seminars on fasting and prayer in silence. And so, for one week the pilgrims participate in prayer, are fed on the Word of God and in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as they live on bread and water. Seminars on fasting and prayer are offered to saturate us with all that is offered here. We spend too much in this society and produce loads of garbage because of Consumerism. And this experience of fasting offers us physical freedom in order to open up space for the spiritual.
We also have the prayer program in the evening. To keep us centered on God, we pray the Rosary and then Holy Mass and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament each day. The phenomenon of Medjugorje is also that we have confession. You could say that Medjugorje has become the confessional of the world. Here we confess in all languages. You know that in some of the countries personal confession has vanished. It doesn’t exist anymore. People here discover the Sacrament of God’s Mercy. What is the Sacrament of Reconciliation? What is the Sacrament that gives us peace in our hearts? There are so many confessions. Confessions of pure conversion that take place here. They are numerous.
When it comes to conversions, we calculate that during the duration of the phenomenon of Medjugorje, there have been about 800 priestly and religious vocations.
All of this I present to you is attracting many. All parishioners who live here feel responsible to accept all the pilgrims in a normal brotherly love. Everyone here feels well.
So, I greet all the journalists, who came for the festival so you will hear, see and witness the miracles that take place here. I hope you would see it. There is a great preparation, also the music which will be like a symphony, with an International choir. Beautiful singers!!
To organize this event, and to accept all pilgrims is possible only through all the lay people who work here in this parish. Also, we have young people from the parish. They have T shirts, blue. Have a good time during your stay in Medjugorje. (Archbishop Hoser speaking about Medjugorje)