Magis 2011 officially started on Friday, August 5 with an opening ceremony on the grounds of the Sanctuary of Loyola in Azkoitia, Spain. More than 3,000 young people from 50 different countries gathered together on the grounds of the Sanctuary of Loyola where they were welcomed in their own official language and treated to a performance with dance, music, light and special effects.
Yesterday, around 3,500 people attended Mass celebrated by Jesuit Father General Adolfo Nicolás in the plaza of the Sanctuary of Loyola. The pilgrims celebrated this special Eucharist before being sent forth to their experiences, which will start today in more than 100 locations across Spain and Portugal.
During his homily, Fr. General evoked the founder of the Society of Jesus in this significant place: “God is in the gentle breeze, in its peace and its refreshing calm. And Saint Ignatius tries to make us sensitive to that breeze, to the soft voice of God.” He also wanted to send a message to all the young pilgrims before they left on their experiences tomorrow, “If we are only worried about our welfare or success, we will sink helplessly. If we are worried about service and the suffering of others, where Christ lives… we will walk on the sea.” After Mass, Fr. General, accompanied by all the concelebrants, prayed in the Chapel of Conversion of St Ignatius.
You can read more about Father General’s visit with the Magis 2011 pilgrims and their send off here.