Thursday, 30 August 2012

SPES @ Medjugorje Youth Festival Part 3

On the Friday morning of the festival we rushed down to the morning programme so that we could get a good spot to see and support Magnus McFarlane-Barrow, who had been invited to speak from the main stage.  Magnus is the founder and CEO of Mary’s Meals ( and his parents started the Craig Lodge House of Prayer ( after visiting Medjugorje in 1983.  The story of Mary’s Meals is inspiring, to think that such a simple idea can make such a big difference to so many children in the world.


 Friday night after the Mass was the procession through the village.  Many of the villagers had made small altars with statues and candles outside their homes.  It was such a wonderful evening.  While walking through the village we had the chance to meet and talk to other young people from different countries and to share our experiences with them.  At the front of the processions there were representatives from each country carrying their country’s name, flag and torch.  Unfortunately we had missed out on starting the procession but along with our sign we eventually made it to the front towards the end.  We probably looked like quite a confused group of young people – we had our Scottish flag and sign but no torch, Deanna had an American flag in her hair and I had the Irish flag dripped on my shoulders.  Being able to be so close to the Altar when Our Lord was exposed on the Altar was a real privilege.  Earlier in the day Deanna had talked about possibly trying to get closer to the Altar during Adoration that night; well ‘ask and you will receive’, we couldn’t have gotten any closer!

The testimonies on Saturday morning were by young people from the Cenacolo Community (  It is fantastic to see how with the help of God and a good community someone can turn their life around again.  

In the afternoon Deanna had the opportunity to speak about SPES from the main stage.  She done a great job of it, well done Deanna!  It was lovely to speak about SPES to a few young people who approached us afterwards and even now we have had some emails from young people who heard Deanna speak at the festival.

It was a great opportunity to share with the young people what SPES is all about and the experiences that you can have in SPES.

Saturday evening was a very special evening for our group; we were invited to Ivan’s private apparition.  It is difficult to describe the feeling of peace that we had during the time that Our Lady was appearing to Ivan.  Even afterwards it was hard to believe that we had been there.  What a way to spend our last evening in Medjugorje!  Afterwards we made our way back to the Church for Mass and Adoration before then watching the musical show by Cenacolo; an awesome performance (although to be honest I didn’t watch it all since it was in Italian and I couldn’t cope with the crowds, but I’m sure it was all awesome).

On Sunday we had a few hours to chill out, buy the last of our souvenirs and say goodbye to Medjugorje as well as ensure we had an ice cream before leaving.  Having waited many years before finally being able to go to Medjugorje I have to say it was well worth the wait.  I had a fantastic time and have had many graces and blessings from my time there.   Thank you to all those who made my trip possible and for all those who made it special, especially those who I was able to share the week with.  May Our Lady continue to protect us all and guide us to her Son Jesus.

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