We had the grace and privilege of participating in the World Youth Days from July 23rd to August 9th in Portugal. We had a beautiful experience that was both spiritual, human, and fraternal!
After spending a week in the diocese of Faro, we experienced the world days with 1.5 million young people in Lisbon, including 5000 Canadians and 400 Montrealers. We also had the opportunity to visit our heavenly mother in Fatima.
During these World Youth Days (WYD), we prayed for you, pilgrims of the Oratory, who accompanied us with your prayers, but also for the Church, the youth, and all of humanity in which we live.
It was an enriching experience that will be eternally engraved in our hearts. It was so moving to see young people like us, passionate about Christ and proud to display their belonging to the Catholic Church! We sang in the streets and chanted the name of Jesus at every turn. We also had workshops reflecting on current topics such as ecology, social relations, and human rights. The Pope also reminded us, several times, how important we, the youth, are and how much potential we have to improve the crises we are experiencing today!
One of the most beautiful sensations during these events was the palpable presence of the Holy Spirit after the big masses. It manifested itself by making us feel immense love for the people around us. This love was so incredible that it could only come from God himself. It is comforting and strengthening to experience such an emotion; it strengthens faith and, like Mary, it urges us to carry Christ, the good news, and joy to the world. In general, there was a strong surge of generosity and kindness. If heaven is as beautiful as this, we want to spend eternity there!
Thus, we returned with a new breath and zeal, even more inflamed with the Holy Spirit and filled with the love of Christ that we wanted to share with other people, especially the youth. So, the WYD represent only the beginning of a new adventure in which we would like other young people to embark with us at the Oratory.