Tuesday, August 16, 2011

World Youth Day Festivities begin in Madrid Today

I'm so excited for the pilgrims who are attending the World Youth Day celebrations in Madrid this week. I still remember how strengthened I felt after attending World Youth Day in Toronto in 2002, it truly was a life changing experience for me and I'm sure it will be for most of this year's young people as well. I haven't been following the news much, but I will as much as I can over the next week. So far it hasn't been too exciting:

Some short-sighted lefties are complaining that the cost is too high given the economic crisis in Europe. Hopefully the excitement and enthusiasm convinces them otherwise. I think this is exactly what Spain needs right now. After all this is a big deal even from merely economic terms. The article noted:

“More than one million outsiders will be circulating in Madrid,” said Alfonso del Álamo, the director of Madrid's civil protection agency. “A major event like winning the World Cup is only 500,000. We’ve never seen anything like this.”
He'll be happy to know that if my memory is correct, 25% fewer crimes were committed in Toronto despite the influx of people.

BUT the reporting isn't all bad. This article in the Irish Times was very positive, and this South African article even quoted Pope Benedict's Sunday prayer:

“Today, our thoughts turn to the young people now gathering in Madrid for World
Youth Day”, the pope told the faithful gathered for his Angelus prayer from the balcony of his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome.

“As I prepare to join them, I ask you to accompany us with your prayers for the spiritual fruitfulness of this important event”, he said.

No Problem. Those prayers are coming right up.