20th International Youth Festival, that began in Međugorje on August 1, 2009 with Holy Mass that was celebrated by Fr. Ivan Sesar, Provincial of Herzegovinian Franciscan Province, ended on August 6, 2009 with Holy Mass on the top of the Cross Mountain at 5 a.m. that was celebrated by Fr. Miljenko Steko, Vicar of Province and around 80 priests have concelebrated at the same Holy Mass. This was the most attended Youth Festival so far, jubilee, twentieth, led by Fr. Danko Perutina, and it went in the best and joyful atmosphere, enriched and marked by the prayer, Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, lectures and music of participants from 69 countries, from all five continents.
For the first time organized group of young people from Denmark was present. Program began every day with Morning Prayer at 9 a.m., and testimonies and music would follow. After Multilanguage experience of prayer of Rosary that began at 6 p.m., the central part of every day was celebration of Holy Mass at 7 p.m., and there would be every day more than 500 priests as concelebrants. Along with dozens of thousands of young people from all over the world that followed these events in 16 different world languages, evening prayer programme would always attract numerous young people from Medjugorje, Herzegovina, Bosnia and Croatia. During the time of the Festival there were various speakers of most different profiles and services: bishops, priests, religious brothers and sisters, famous doctors, writers and various social workers of Christian convictions. Especially impressive witnesses to young people were given by Catholic married couples with numerous children and representatives of the associations that are fighting for the protection and respect of the human life from the moment of it natural conception until the moment of natural death. Members of Community of “Merciful Father” introduced themselves with their testimony of “new life”. Fr. Svetozar Kraljević is in the charge of this community that was founded by late Fr. Slavko Barbarić, who at the same time, is the founder of the Youth Festival. The testimony of life in the hell of drugs and road to healing, all carved into the message of Salvation that becomes alive in the mystery of Jesus Christ Redeemer, who frees man from sin in all of its forms, was impressively performed at the outside stage by the members of Community “ Cenacolo”.
Traditional procession through the parish of Međugorje on August 3, 2009, was also impressive. It was full of different young people of different races and colours, of different languages and people, recognizable through prayer and music, as well as with flags, torches and signs with names of the countries.
All of the events of the Festival were accompanied in music and song by the International Choir and Orchestra, led by Prof. Martin Pero Boras that gathered young musicians from more that 23 countries. According to the witness and experience of many, the most beautiful scenes of Međugorje Festival had to do with sacrament of Holy Confession. More than 600 priests were there for thousands of young people, who stood in the sun, in the heat, in long lines and waited to be confessed. Fr. Petar Vlasic, Međugorje Parish Priest spoke to the youth on the first and last evening, welcoming them and inviting them to the 21st Youth Festival that will be held in Međugorje in August 2010. Complete programme was directly broadcasted at Radio Station “Mir” Međugorje, and German Informative Centre for Međugorje www.medjugorje.de, Spanish Informative Centre for Međugorje www.centromedjugorje.org, and Austrian Kath.net www.kathtube.com have been broadcasting directly in both picture and sound all of the events at their web portals in Croatian, German, English, Spanish and Italian language. Festival was also filmed by numerous television teams, while South American TV Station “Maria Vision” directly broadcasted most of the programme via satellite.
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