One City, One World: World Youth Day 2011 Begins in Madrid
The following post is from the official Magis 2011 website. You can follow along with the Magis 2011 participants’ journeys in Madrid for World Youth Day, by visiting the Magis 2011 site here.
Just when you were starting to get your head around the fact that there were 3000 people at MAGIS 2011, World Youth Day arrives and multiplies that by a hundred times and more!
Hundreds of thousands of young people headed towards the Plaza de Cibeles last night for the Opening Mass of World Youth Day. The streets of Madrid were awash with noise and color, just as Loyola had been, as people of all nationalities came together to mark the beginning of World Youth Day celebrations.
Antonio María Rouco Varela, the Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid, presided at Mass. In his homily, he welcomed the World Youth Day pilgrims to Madrid and was greeted with a wave of loud cheers all the way down the Paseo de los Recoletos, which was lined with the huge crowds who couldn’t get anywhere near the square due to the sheer number of people.
From the sides of the street, you could watch the Mass on big screens and listen through the speaker system, although this was a bit temperamental. But the huge orchestra and choir did a fantastic job of creating a celebratory but prayerful atmosphere – no easy task when some of the congregation were nearly a mile away! It was unfortunate that the overwhelming numbers of people meant that not everybody was able to receive the Eucharist, but the exchanges of welcome and good wishes among everyone present ensured that we were truly in communion with one another. Magis 2011 has prepared us to be with Christ at the heart of the world – and now the whole world has come to Madrid!
Magis 2011 pilgrim Emma Scuglik captured this video of her and her Magis group as they prepared for the opening Mass last night.