What a way to end the pilgrimage! This morning, I gathered with a million other young people to celebrate at the Papal Mass, held on the Cuatro Vientos airfield. It is a moment I will not forget.
Most pilgrims headed out to the field the night before for Eucharistic Adoration with Pope Benedict XVI and spent the night sleeping out in the field. The field itself was a massive open space, mostly dirt and dust, with no shade from the sun or heat. However, that did not deter any of the pilgrims there, and merely added to the unforgettable experience. My husband and I woke up very early this morning and walked from the nearest metro (which was not that near) to the field. When we got to the main gate, we were told that we would have to go to entrance four, so we walked another half hour or so to that entrance. Below is a short video of what the crowd was like in the section in which we were sitting. Try to imagine that this was merely one small section of the crowd, and not even the main area.
Even though my Spanish speaking skills are very basic, there were a few key phrases and ideas that I was able to understand in the pope’s message: young Catholics should be joyful, hopeful and work in spreading the faith. If this week has taught me anything, it did show me how those goals are one that the young Church can definitely reach.
I’d like to end with another short video, this one of part of the pilgrimage walk back to the city. This video was taken about an hour into the walk. We walked for about two and a half hours back towards our hotel (we then took a taxi the rest of the way because of the heat). What caught my attention was that even at the hottest part of the day, after sleeping outside, and celebrating Mass in a massive crowd in the heat, most pilgrims were still completely full of the spirit, and joyful.