Wednesday, August 03, 2011

What is World Youth Day?

In yesterday's post, I mentioned that a group of us are going to World Youth Day in Madrid.  Nine GW students and three of us adults are heading to Madrid to join over 1,000,000 Catholic youth from all over the world as well as Pope Benedict.  From its title, many people think that it's just one day.  It's actually a week long event and the Pope is there for a few days.  We are making stops in Rome, Paris, and Lourdes, so it will actually be closer to a three week pilgrimage for us.  A pilgrimage is different from a vacation in that it is a spiritual journey; it has a holy purpose and goal.  It involves sacrifices and penances, mainly in the area of comfort.  We will go out of our comfort zones in some ways and hope that God showers us with graces as He usually does with pilgrims.

What is World Youth Day?  It is a Catholic celebration of and for youth from all over the world.  It was started in the 1980s by Pope John Paul II in order to gather young Catholics for catechesis, prayer, and celebration of our faith in Jesus Christ and to call young people to follow Christ and His Cross.  Millions of young people have grown in their Catholic faith, experienced the universality of the Church (how big the Church really is!), and found their vocations as a result of WYD.

Here is a video about the history of WYD.  Get excited, pilgrims!

1 comment:

Christina said...

Have fun! I'll be praying for you guys!