Our week in Lodz prepared us well for our arrival in Krakow. What a city! So rich in history, full of faith, and the home to the great saints of mercy; Saint Faustina, Saint JPII and St. Maximillian Kolbe to name a few. It is against this rich backdrop that we entered into the theme of our WYD celebration: Blessed Are the Merciful”.
Each morning was the same....we made our way to the “Mercy Center” where we would join 20,000 other English speaking pilgrims for morning prayer, guest speakers, catachesis by a bishop and the celebration of mass. After mass, we would grab some lunch and make the long journey to the field where most eveinings we would have a signifigant celebration. The opening mass with the Archbishop of Krakow was a wonderful start to the week. The welcoming of the pope was a highlight for many and we were blessed to have had a place on the path which allowed us to be very close as he passed by. The way of the cross was both powerful and breathtaking. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQ4yzBb4yPs) On the evening before the final vigil night in the field we attended The Festival of Mercy; a night of reconciliation, music and Adoration led Matt Maher and Audrey Assad, followed by a talk by Bishop Robert Barron. For many in our group, this was event was a highlight which impacted them deeply and one they will never forget. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3Tq0wF_Pm4
The final vigil in the field is exhausting, trying, character building and awe-inspiring all at the same time! We made the 3 hour walk to the field as a group. Upon arrival we celebrated mass in the field (on a radish box!) The pope challenged the young people of the world to “get off the couch”and change the world, reminding them “You are not called to be ' Netflix' generation!”
What a gift St. JPII gave the church when he established WYD. It is truly a week of growth, miracles and hope! No one who attends ever leaves the same. Thank you Krakow for welcoming the world!Your hard work and hospitality have allowed the Holy Spirit to open the door of many hearts. Let the real work begin.