August 16-the first official day of WYD! Madrid is as hot as they predicted, but the heat is not stifling the spirit of pilgrims from all over the globe. So far I’ve met people from Australia (proud Aussies still on fire from WYD Sydney 2008),France, Italy, South Africa, Mexico, Rwanda, Malaysia, Canada, Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil, and more. I wish I spoke more languages! Cardinal Pell of Australia inspired me yesterday morning with his address to the Australian gathering at the Love and Life Center. He said that WYD is the largest peacetime gathering of young people in history. In general, such large numbers only move across continents during wars and conflicts. So WYD is a beautiful witness to the peace possible in a life with Christ! – Sr. Susan
Like Sr. Susan mentioned, the heat is not deterring the pilgrims from fully entering into the WYD events.
However, it has been interesting to see the ways in which the pilgrims “recharge” their batteries! Cafe con leche, Pepsi, chocolate and more! Yesterday we walked through a beautiful park only to see many different groups napping beneath trees and their national flags. - Sr Colleen
“If you build it, they will come.” This was a quote about a baseball stadium but it applies to WYD too. JPII had the courage to create WYD and the people have come! Last night we celebrated the Mass of Blessed JPII (perhaps someday John Paul the Great!!!) and hundreds of thousands of young people came together to worship and receive the Lord. You should have seen the Communion lines and people helping one another to get the Eucharist!! Afterwards the streets and subways and buses were filled with young people singing and chanting and exchanging religious articles. At WYD, language is not a barrier because faith unites us. - Sr. Angela
Photo Credit: CNS photo/Paul Haring