The Minister General at the International Youth Festival in Medjugorje

Br Massimo Fusarelli OFM, Minister General, took part in the 33rd International Youth Festival in Medjugorje on 2 and 3 August last, invited by the Apostolic Visitator Archbishop Aldo Cavalli. “I spent the days of 2 and 3 August in Medjugorje. I had the opportunity to pray with the pilgrims, to listen to the stories and lives of the many young people, and I breathed an atmosphere of great recollection and celebration“. These are the words of Br Massimo Fusarelli, who celebrated Mass on 2 August, the day of the feast of the Pardon of Assisi (here is the full text of his homily). The following day he gave a catechesis – translated into 18 languages – taking inspiration from the Gospel passage “Matthew 11:28-30” (here is the full text of the catechesis). According to the organisers, more than 50,000 young people from almost every country in the world attended this Festival.

“I was struck by a very broad, recollected and concentrated participation. This attention surprised me; it was something unexpected and beautiful. The Eucharist was a special moment for the sense of forgiveness and peace, themes that have a typically Franciscan trait that is very much alive here (Medjugorje ed.). The catechesis was a time of great availability and aimed at listening and growth. The confessions were a vital element of my trip. Seeing young people from all corners of the world experiencing that moment in great silence and attention impressed me, and it will be something that I will take with me,” Br Massimo concluded his impressions of his presence in the Marian shrine.

The Holy Father also sent a message to the many young people who flocked to the event: “Because the true remedy for humanity’s wounds is a style of life based on fraternal love, which has its root in love of God. Walking together with Him and imitating Him, you will learn from Him. He is a Master who does not impose on others the burdens he does not carry. He addresses the humble, the small and the poor because He made himself poor and humble. And to learn, first of all, one must be humble and acknowledge one’s own ignorance and the pride that makes us think we can do everything by ourselves and with our own strength. It is necessary to keep an eye open to the Word of the Master. In this way one learns his heart, his love, his way of thinking, seeking and acting. It takes courage to stay close to him and to imitate him”.


Francesco Stefanini

(Photo Credit: Informativni Centar Mir Međugorje)