Wednesday, 11 August 2010

SPES@21st Youth Festival, Medjugorje

Blog from Teresa Vaughan-Spruce (SPES 2007/08) Last week, Edna and I travelled to the 21st Youth Festival held in Medjugorje. There were around 40 000 young people from all over the world there, and Edna and I were lucky enough to be apart of it, representing SPES. It was a truly blessed pilgrimage with lots of powerful testimonies, talks, for example on Theology of the Body, and prayer. The people living in Medjugorje were so welcoming and hospitable. One night, we had a candlelit procession with 40 000 of us, through the tiny streets of Medjugorje. The people living there stood outside their houses holding candles, and gave us drinks of water as we passed. Their driveways were lit up with candles and small shrines to Our Lady that had been made especially for the procession. It really was an unforgettable experience. Edna and I stayed with a lovely young family just outside of the centre; Maria and Dalibor, and their daughters Gabriela, Lana, and Matea who is only four days old! Maria gave birth while we were staying with them, and Dalibor took us both to see Maria and Matea in hospital; Matea was so tiny, beautiful and perfect! It was really special to visit both of them. On our first day in Medugorje, we met up with Aisiling (who graduated from the school this July) who was with a group from Craig Lodge in Scotland, led by Fr Augustine of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. Together we climbed up Apparition Hill, praying the different mysteries of the Rosary. When we reached the top of the rocky hill we had time to sit and pray in front of the statue of Our Lady. The place was completely silent, and filled with such a great atmosphere of prayerful peace and calm. I think we could have sat up there for hours! Edna and I had a truly blessed pilgrimage in Medjugorje. We prayed a lot for the past students, and especially for the future of SPES, and future students.