The World Youth Day Crowd

It’s easy to spot the pilgrims at World Youth Day here in Madrid.  I couldn’t even begin to count the number of groups from around the world that I have seen wearing special T-shirts, hats and carrying the pilgrim’s backpack.  For the past few days, my husband and I have traveled through the streets of Madrid feeling a sense of oneness with others here to celebrate with Pope Benedict XVI.

However, today we were able to travel with a group of pilgrims from St. Peter’s Church in Yonkers, which gave the trip a completely different feel.  It began to feel like a real pilgrimage.  All at once, even riding the Metro felt like an adventure.
Actually seeing and feeling the excitement of the other group members, who accepted us right away, and feeling like we belonged made the travel more enjoyable.  Before, we saw groups spontaneously burst into songs in public spaces, but today, we felt why that is such a common occurrence here at World Youth Day—sharing our faith is
contagious, and joyful.

My husband and I were fortunate enough to travel with the group to the Palacio de Desportes, a sports arena in Madrid, for an Prayer Service with Archbishop Dolan. Below is a ten-second shot of the group walking towards the sports arena, which can be seen in front.

Have you ever had an experience in which you felt your faith more fully when shared with a group?  Please share!


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