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World Youth Day 2016 (part 1)
Here Allen, one of our two young people at the recent World Youth Day, tells us about the experience….
When I set out to Krakow along with the diocesan team of 37 on 19th July, I honestly wondered what was in store. Indeed, the World Youth Day was remarkable in several ways. Imagine 3 million hands raised to heaven calling out ‘Our Father’!
At Bialystok where we spent the first four days, we explored the city and met many World Youth Day pilgrims. We attended a welcome Mass celebrated by the local bishop, which was followed by a procession from the stairs of the cathedral to a church dedicated to Jesus’ Divine Mercy. During this walk we sang hymns, prayed and met people from all over the world; an experience to cherish for ever.
Whilst visiting the church of St. Anthony of Padua, we observed a red dot in the host exposed for adoration. In fact in 2009, while the parish priest was saying Mass, he accidentally dropped the host on the floor. He put the host in a bowl of water and left it locked away in the chapel which only he and a senior nun had access to. After 3 days, they expected the host to have dissolved. However, they were very surprised to see that instead of dissolving, it developed a red dot in the middle. Immediately, the parish priest informed his bishop and eventually they sent it for testing to a lab. The investigations revealed that the red dot consisted of a small piece of heart muscle which had undergone extreme pain and it was AB type blood. Even though I have heard of many Eucharist miracles, it is the first time I have come so close to one. The sheer sight of it had an intense effect on me that is difficult to express in words.
More than 1.5 million people attended the opening Mass. It was a spectacular sight which proved to be a real reminder of how universal and rich the Catholic Church is, and that we are not alone in our journey. Although we affirm our faith in the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church in every creed, we often do not realise that we do so along with a billion people. (to be continued…)
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World Youth Day is taking place in Krakow, Poland, from 25 – 31 July, and we have two representatives there flying the flag for Cardiff and our 3 Churches – Mark Aziz and Allan Mathew! www.rcadc.org/world-youth-day-blog/ WYD events have been celebrated for three decades. In 1986, Pope St John Paul II began the tradition in St Peter’s Square, Rome, with a global youth celebration to which the entire Church was invited. Now, three decades later, Pope Francis will open the 21st gathering of what has become a worldwide youth phenomenon – the opportunity for a million plus Catholics to celebrate their faith with the Holy Father. Mark and Allan will tell us about their experience when they come back! Meanwhile here is the official World Youth Day Prayer…
“God, merciful Father, in your Son, Jesus Christ, you have revealed your love and poured it out upon us in the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. We entrust to you today the destiny of the world and of every man and woman. We entrust to you in a special way young people of every language, people and nation: guide and protect them as they walk the complex paths of the world today and give them the grace to reap abundant fruits from their experience of the Krakow World Youth Day.
Heavenly Father, grant that we may bear witness to your mercy. Teach us how to convey the faith to those in doubt, hope to those who are discouraged, love to those who feel indifferent, forgiveness to those who have done wrong and joy to those who are unhappy. Allow the spark of merciful love that you have enkindled within us become a fire that can transform hearts and renew the face of the earth.
Mary, Mother of Mercy, pray for us. Saint John Paul II, pray for us.”
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