BRAZIL A PROUD HOST FOR WYD Rio2013
This week, Rio de Janeiro has become the center of the Church”. These words from Pope Francis marked the Papal Welcoming Ceremony in Copacabana. With his familiar smile and affection, the Pope saluted and welcomed a multitude of young people who got together to listen to his words on the first Main Event of World Youth Day (WYD Rio2013) presided by him.
The Pope invited the young people to put Christ in their lives. “Add Christ to your heart; He welcomes you, through the Sacrament of Penitence, to heal the wounds of sin with his mercy”, the Holy Father highlighted. He then recalled the pilgrimage made by the WYD Cross and the Icon of Our Lady, known as “Bote Fé” (Add Faith). “Add Faith. If there isn’t enough salt, then add salt. If there isn’t enough salt, add olive oil. To add means to put more, to pour. If we want our lives to be plentiful, I say to each one of you ‘add faith,’ and life will have a new flavor. Add hope to your life and your days will be illuminated. Add love and your existence will be like the house built on the rock. Add faith, add hope, and add love!” he explained.
Current issues concerning young people were highlighted during the presentation of the Way of the Cross on Friday, July 26th, on Copacabana beach. There were 13 stations along a 900 meter stretch of Atlantic Ave. and with 14th station was represented on the main stage. 280 volunteers and narrators participated.
Before the Way of the Cross, Pope Francis traveled the four kilometer stretch from the Copacabana Fort until the stage. Along the way, Pope Francis got down from the Pope mobile twice: once to bless a statue of St. Francis of Assisi and another time to bless the handicap people who were participating in the presentation of the stations.
Dozens of young people participated in the presentation, some carrying the Pilgrim Cross, others carrying flags representing the countries participating in World Youth Day. At each station, famous actors and singers as well as consecrated members of the Church read Bible passages on the stages. The presentation lasted one hour and fifteen minutes.
At each station, the Bible passage was related to a current issue, such as defense of Life, the problem of drug addiction, social violence, among others.
Afterwards, Pope Francis spoke about the presence of the cross in our lives and asked three questions. “What did the young people of Brazil leave on the cross that crossed their country for two years? What did the cross leave them? What does the cross teach each one of us?”
The Pontiff stressed that Jesus unites himself to those who are having a difficult time, to those who suffer, whatever the motive may be, because Christ accepts all with open arms. Pope Francis also affirmed that the Church and the faithful are not alone because Christ conquered death and offers His faithful love for the salvation for all who believe.
Pope Francis asked the young people how they wanted to carry their cross, like Pilate who washed his hands, Simon the Cyrene who helped Christ carry His cross, or women such as Mary Magdalene who were not afraid to stand by Him until the end. According the Pope, this is the question that Christ asks them: Are you willing to help Him carry the cross in joys and sufferings?
Bella Travel proudly to being one Travel Agency whom sent young groups to Brazil to live this special moment in faith .