“WYD Krakow 2016 has begun,” were the words of Card. Stanisław Dziwisz at the end of the Opening Mass today. What a beautiful feast of Mercy we are celebrating here. I had the grace to receive tickets right in front of the main stage. It was impressive to see the thousands and thousands of youth gathered around the altar.
Right before the event a lightning storm broke out. I realized that I had forgotten my umbrella back home. But bad weather was not enough to stop the crowds of pilgrims going to Blonia, the venue of the ceremony. Little by little the storm faded out and the sun came shining through the clouds.
The Opening Ceremony started with a procession of symbols of WYD. These symbols are the cross and icon of the Blessed Mother. They were carried by young people representing the countries that have hosted a WYD.
The Mass was so beautiful; hundreds of bishops concelebrated. The youth were colorful and full of excitement. During the thanksgiving for communion, I thought the Mass was an answer to the violence of our world. There we were, thousands of people of different countries, cultures, social conditions. And we were all united in Christ.
A friend of mine saw a group of Ukrainians meeting a group of Russian pilgrims in the street. Both groups greeted each other with joy and respect. They exchanged greetings like “peace, we are brothers”.
Yes, WYD Krakow 2016 had started. Faith and peace are being radiated by Christ to the whole world.