WYD Madrid 2011 has officially come to a close but its fruits will spread throughout the world. Our experience at Cuatro Vientos truly tested the theme: Firmes en la fe! As you may have seen, Cuatro Vientos became “un mil vientos!” Despite the scary lightning and ferocious winds, we stood (ok…crouched) in prayer. We were deeply touched when the Holy Father expressed how proud he was of the nearly 2 million pilgrims who withstood the storm. In our section we began to sing and pray together above the noise of the wind and rain. Perhaps the most touching part was when the Holy Father knelt before the Eucharist and entrusted the youth to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Despite the burning sun, the stormy blast and the damp night, pilgrims praised the Lord all night with drums and dancing. We were sad that the adoration chapels were destroyed by the storm and that we couldn’t receive the Eucharist, but our Holy Father reminded us that Christ will never abandon us. After the beautiful closing Mass, the trek to Madrid was tiring, yet pilgrims continued to spread the Gospel by their joyful songs and chants in all languages. Locals generously offered directions, rides and sprayed water off their rooftops to cool us off. “Esta es la juventud del Papa!” See you in Rio 2013! – Sr Colleen, Sr Susan and Sr Angela
- © CNS photo/Paul Haring