In comparison with last year’s World Youth Day in Poland, the festival here has a simpler schedule. In the morning we have catechesis and testimonies, with worship songs during breaks. In the afternoon, there are more testimonies, and people pray the rosary before the Holy Mass. Each day, there are more than 400 priests con-cerebrating the Mass and more than 50,000 young people dancing and singing together to worship Our Lord.
One impressive testimony was from Cardinal Ernest Simoni, a priest from Albania. He was in prison for 28 years on account of his faith, but he said that even in that situation, he was free, because he was still free to pray, love and be with Jesus.
The testimony I was most familiar with was that of Mary’s Meals. It is an initiative, inspired by our Lady, to provide children with school meals where society doesn't do it, so the children have the energy they need to study. In Stella Maris I have seen leaflets for this project and I know many youths in our Diocese are involved as volunteers for this organization.
Every day during the festival, we heard lots of testimonies from the stage. People from different parts of the world shared how great God is and how peaceful they have become after their encounter with Him. We should also not forget Our Lady, who is the Lord's masterpiece. How amazing it is that we have a mother like her, who teaches us to love Jesus more and more in every moment.
About the Author
Yiran, or Maria Micaela. Born in China as a Protestant Christian but baptised in Spain (2015), being the only Catholic in the family. I came to Turku as an Erasmus exchange student and I stayed for my MSc studies. I'm also a participant of the Youth Weekends at Stella Maris.
Cooking, running and photography are my hobbies.