Archbishop Henryk Hoser said:
“Apparitions are not a requirement for the worship of Mary, nor are apparitions a cult object. The Medjugorje phenomenon is not recognized. It is good to be patient. “
In the studies of Radio Mir in Medjugorje, Archbishop Mons. Henryk Hoser, Apostolic visitor to the parish of Medjugorje, and Archbishop Mons. Luigi Pezzuto, Apostolic Nuncio in Bosnia and Herzegovina talked about their impressions of Mladifesta, but also sent their messages to the pilgrims who come to Medjugorje.
Dragan Soldo interviewed them and Marija dugandžić translated
The Apostolic Nuncio L. Pezzuto:
The first reaction and the first thing I have to say is that the bishops, archbishops and cardinals from Rome and other places, their first reaction was a surprise. They discovered an unknown reality that was often hidden. They were very touched by the atmosphere at the Youth Festival, for the enthusiasm and joy that the young people showed.
“We are already considering how to involve the bishops in the universal Church but also their lay people and priests, in organizing their youth in their dioceses at the Youth Festival in Medjugorje, and for all the pilgrimages. We must get to the point that the bishops are the ones who will organize the pilgrimages of their believers to Medjugorje and that there is a true Marian devotion, which should be Christocentric. “
Prayer is the heart of everything
“My view on this year’s youth festival is very positive. I must also say that I am very optimistic and very positive about the response of these young people to the contents offered and to catechesis. For example, the Festival officially ended on Monday, but thousands also attended Mass on Križevac Tuesday and it was crowded.
I was in BiH for six years and I was familiar with the Youth Festival, I knew it, not because I participated. It’s only my second time at the Youth Festival, but in the contacts I have with the monks who work here, I met the Youth Festival. With the advent of the apostolic visitor, one must enter another course in a pastoral sense. This is not an isolated thing, an event, but an event that must be incorporated into all the pastoral care of the parish of Medjugorje.
Everything awakens the hearts of young people, children, adults … And it is pastoral and what was very important this year is the opening by the Church. Previously, it was more a private matter and limited to this area. Now, really, it’s not anymore. So actually, it shouldn’t be any more, “said Msgr. Pezzuto, and with him he was an apostolic visitor with a special role for the parish of Medjugorje, Archbishop Henryk Hoser, who said that all those present at the Youth Festival “felt they were breathing the universal Church”.
“And it is not only a question of the universal scope of the Church at the general level, but above all of the young people who have come here, full of hope of joy and joy. And this Youth Festival has confirmed its quality, both in terms of dynamics and contents. It was something that kept growing. I mean not only at an organizational level but also at a substantial level. The program of the Youth Festival is spiritual. We have seen these thousands of young people standing on that plateau in front of the church for hours.
They listened to testimonies, experiences, prayers, followed by the Rosary and Holy Mass as the focal point of the whole program. For hours and hours they sat and sometimes danced to practice, to be able to continue in prayer and to see a profound delight in them, and that they were satisfied. It’s not just about the young people and the people who are physically present here, but thanks to the media we have had almost three million people watching the Youth Festival via live streaming and television. And I want to emphasize one more thing: the presence of church pastors among the faithful who have been here. During the Youth Festival, pastors, cardinals, archbishops and bishops were in Medjugorje, and among them were three representatives of the Holy See. And in short, I can only say that we are all really happy because the Youth Festival has a global dimension, “said Archbishop Hoser, conveying the thoughts of church dignitaries who participated in the Youth Festival in Medjugorje..
‘The first reaction and the first thing I have to say is that bishops, archbishops and cardinals from Rome and other places, that their first reaction was a surprise. They discovered an unknown reality that was often hidden. They were very touched, sensitized by the atmosphere that was at the Youth Festival, by the enthusiasm and joy shown by the young people. They were fascinated by the skill of young people and they told me that they had noticed that they had stayed to remain in complete silence, and these were young people who constantly lived in noise, with earphones in their ears. And what touched cardinals and bishops was how young people reacted to catechesis. You had the impression that they were sitting in silence, getting bored because there was absolute silence, and then when they finished they explode in applause, which means that they followed.
Everyone noted two details of Medjugorje.
The first one we talked about before is confessions. The 700 priests present were engaged in confession. During the day they confessed for hours. Another very powerful aspect is adoration. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the Sacrament of the Cross, since these are liturgical practices that have almost disappeared with confession in the world. And the third aspect they have noticed is the prayer of the Rosary. This is where the Rosary prays in this place. The Rosary is considered a prayer of elderly women in many countries and here we see young people with a rosary in hand, said Msgr. Hoser and the testimony of faith in Medjugorje also touched Archbishop Pezzut.
“An aspect that must be evaluated today in the Church is the aspect of witness. I see young people as a formation, a preparation for testimony, but also as a practical testimony.It is not just a matter of teaching someone how to become a witness, but also of allowing the possibility of living that testimony in practice. It is a formation that takes place at a mental, spiritual and prayer level.
The entire Medjugorje is a church
Here in this place, therefore, one learns, a man is prepared for testimony, but he is also given the opportunity to testify there. You understand that this result can only be achieved if done in two. If both sexes are active. What are the two sexes? On the one hand, they are priests, those who profess, those who preach, speak with people … and the other sex are generally believers, in this case young. If we are talking about the priest in an abstract way, this is one thing, and it is another thing if we are talking about a priest who is active, active and in contact with believers. While a priest is trained in seminary and theology during this period, he tries to understand what it means to be a priest and, when pastoral activity begins, he lives his reality: being a priest. I saw these two sexes that we talked about at this Youth Festival. Did you notice last night when it was a mission, the priests went down and entered among the young, praying over them, and on the other hand, did we see this mass that seemed to open up to accept those outstretched arms that were praying over them? Why all this and why did we do everything? This act was important both for the priest and for the faithful. The gesture told believers and priests that you must now go to testify. The testimony that has been heard and given in these days has not been given only in the area of the church, on the external altar, but throughout the parish of Medjugorje.
Someone told me that the whole parish of Medjugorje, the whole place has become a church, when I say church, so I think that because of all that was happening there was a holy space where people pray and where God meets. Nowadays the streets were a church because we saw people walking in the streets with a rosary in their hands, “concluded the apostolic nuncio to the Archbishop of Bosnia and Herzegovina Luigi Pezzuto, while Archbishop Henryk Hoser declared that” The Manifesto sends a message to all humanity “.
The beauty of the liturgy at the Festival
“This is an intense moment of training. The formations of intelligence of the heart and this form of formation offered here, the lessons, the catechesis offered at the service of the word were not intended only for those present here but for the whole world, and all the participants underlined the quality of the catechesis they have listened to here in Medjugorje. The festival also shows the beauty of the liturgy. There are some elements involved in the liturgy that touch you … They are touching … For example, a hundred-meter-long canvas filled with the prayers of the young, painted it and then was exposed and placed in front of the altar at the beginning of the Mass. The beauty of the liturgy is emphasized for its music and its song. And I mean that the music of the international choir and orchestra is of high quality. The choir and the orchestra together when they form a whole, follow the prayer. And to do some exercise, these young people who sit still for hours use a musical animation. Movements and gestures accompanied by song and choir, and it is not a question of gymnastics.
Show that the value of the festival and what must be emphasized is that it was a great, great contribution and involvement of the people who organized everything. For example, volunteers are young people belonging to the Franciscan youth of the parish of Medjugorje who are doing a huge, enormous job to help organize everything that is there. The media contribution is extraordinary. And what is really important is the technical service. Service that is not visible from the outside and is very important. And what remains to be emphasized is the contribution of the parishioners who, with love and generosity, do their best to welcome the people who come here in their homes generously. Our parishioners in Medjugorje are also aware that they are also responsible for the course and the fruits of pilgrimages and pilgrims throughout the year. The Youth Festival is a manifestation of unity. They come from all over the world, from many people, cultures and languages, and they all feel like family here. The festival also unites the parishioners, the parish. Thank you for all that has been and is happening, because many pilgrims say that there is a presence here … Someone who is present but not visible. The visit of the pilgrims to the parish of Medjugorje, said Archbishop Henryk Hoser, is very much appreciated.