World Youth Day 2011 culminated with the Holy Father’s arrival at Cuatro Vientos this morning in Madrid, Spain to celebrate the closing Mass of the event with the millions of pilgrims gathered.
Our Magis & World Youth Day coverage is coming to a close but we’ll have more reflections in the coming weeks from U.S. Jesuits who were there so, please check back.
You can take look back by watching all of our videos with pilgrims and U.S. Jesuits who experienced this year’s Magis and World Youth Day celebrations. Thank you for joining them, and us, on this journey!
Jesuit scholastic Michael Rossman and his group of Magis 2011 pilgrims lined the streets of Madrid, Spain along with millions of other World Youth Day participants to joyfully greet the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI to the festivities yesterday.
Rossman and the group of students he is chaperoning as part of Magis 2011 were overwhelmed at this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
In this video piece, Jesuit scholastic Michael Magree explains the role of the Jesuits at World Youth Day and how they are reaching out to the young people in attendance.
“World Youth Day is about giving young people an experience of the body of Christ, the experience of the Church as this universal body,” says Magree. “The Jesuits have something to contribute, something that is very profound - a great devotion to Jesus, a very personal devotion to Jesus.”
You can watch Magree’s video on the role of Jesuits at World Youth Day in this piece below:
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.