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World Youth Day Madrid 2011

XXIII Jornada Mundial de la Juventud - in Spain
11th international WYD / JMJ - Madrid, 16-21 August 2011

Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith”  
Theme for the 26th WYD/JMJ (cf Col 2:7) & BXVI's Message to Young People

This was Papa Benedict XVI's 3rd (& final) World Youth Day, at which he celebrated the final Mass with over 2 million young people. There are loads of ace photos here on the Madrid2011jmj Flickr page.

WYD / JMJ 2011 Madrid Testimonies   

with Matt, Maria, Rosio & Jordi (UK & Spain)   
with Padre Francesco, Lana, Ferdi & Milad (Italy & Israel)    
con Teresa, Miguel & Concha (Spain, en español)  
with Cecilia, David & Dominic (Argentina & England)      
with Emily, Alex & John (France & England)   
with Peter, Sister Mary Benedicta & Rob (UK & Nigeria)     
with Benjamin, Bunty & Chilekwa (England & Uganda)      
with Kieran, Magdalen & Joe (England & China)       
with Cynthia, James & Edward (Argentina & England)      
with Ed, Charis & Sadora (England & the USA)      
with Jessica, Miguel & Kirsty (all from England)       
with Jerome, Emily & Alithea (all from England)      

To download the free mp3 audio recordings, right / double click on the play button      
Click here for Totus2us's World Youth Days podcast.

Tommy, 25 & from the USA / Poland      

Tommy went with his wife for their honeymoon on pilgrimage from Poland to Spain for World Youth Day Madrid, staying with friends along their pilgrim way (they had been at their 1st WYD together with Papa Benedetto back in 2005 in Cologne, Germany): "I think the beauty of pilgrimages is that normally we go on pilgrimage through life and we never have enough time to pray and discover new things, or even the silence to hear God and speak to God. Perhaps I didn't have the silence to reflect upon different things because of all the partying at World Youth Day with the youth, and the celebrational aspects of World Youth Day and the fact that the Pope is coming and that we are all one union, but I think we met that silence when we got to visit a priest in the south of Spain in a little, little town, so all my spiritual needs were really satisfied."

Papa Benedict XVI's Words during the Prayer Vigil with Young People
Cuatro Vientos Air Base - Saturday, 20 August 2011 - in English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese & Spanish

"Dear Young Friends,
I greet all of you, especially the young people who have asked me their questions, and I thank them for the sincerity with which they set forth their concerns, that express the longing which all of you have to achieve something great in life, something which can bring you fulfilment and happiness.

How can a young person be true to the faith and yet continue to aspire to high ideals in today’s society? In the Gospel we have just heard, Jesus gives us an answer to this urgent question: “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love” (Jn 15:9).

Yes, dear friends, God loves us. This is the great truth of our life; it is what makes everything else meaningful. We are not the product of blind chance or absurdity; instead our life originates as part of a loving plan of God. To abide in his love, then, means living a life rooted in faith, since faith is more than the mere acceptance of certain abstract truths: it is an intimate relationship with Christ, who enables us to open our hearts to this mystery of love and to live as men and women conscious of being loved by God.

If you abide in the love of Christ, rooted in the faith, you will encounter, even amid setbacks and suffering, the source of true happiness and joy. Faith does not run counter to your highest ideals; on the contrary, it elevates and perfects those ideals. Dear young people, do not be satisfied with anything less than Truth and Love, do not be content with anything less than Christ.

Nowadays, although the dominant culture of relativism all around us has given up on the search for truth, even if it is the highest aspiration of the human spirit, we need to speak with courage and humility of the universal significance of Christ as the Saviour of humanity and the source of hope for our lives. He who took upon himself our afflictions, is well acquainted with the mystery of human suffering and manifests his loving presence in those who suffer. They in their turn, united to the passion of Christ, share closely in his work of redemption. Furthermore, our disinterested attention towards the sick and the forgotten will always be a humble and warm testimony of God’s compassionate regard.

Dear friends, may no adversity paralyze you. Be afraid neither of the world, nor of the future, nor of your weakness. The Lord has allowed you to live in this moment of history so that, by your faith, his name will continue to resound throughout the world.

During this prayer vigil, I urge you to ask God to help you find your vocation in society and in the Church, and to persevere in that vocation with joy and fidelity. It is a good thing to open our hearts to Christ’s call and to follow with courage and generosity the path he maps out for us.

The Lord calls many people to marriage, in which a man and a woman, in becoming one flesh (cf. Gen 2:24), find fulfilment in a profound life of communion. It is a prospect that is both bright and demanding. It is a project for true love which is daily renewed and deepened by sharing joys and sorrows, one marked by complete self-giving. For this reason, to acknowledge the beauty and goodness of marriage is to realize that only a setting of fidelity and indissolubility, along with openness to God’s gift of life, is adequate to the grandeur and dignity of marital love.

Christ calls others to follow him more closely in the priesthood or in consecrated life. It is hard to put into words the happiness you feel when you know that Jesus seeks you, trusts in you, and with his unmistakable voice also says to you: “Follow me!” (cf. Mk 2:14).

Dear young people, if you wish to discover and to live faithfully the form of life to which the Lord is calling each of you, you must remain in his love as his friends. And how do we preserve friendship except through frequent contact, conversation, being together in good times and bad? Saint Teresa of Jesus used to say that prayer is just such “friendly contact, often spending time alone with the one who we know loves us” (cf. Autobiography, 8).

And so I now ask you to “abide” in the adoration of Christ, truly present in the Eucharist. I ask you to enter into conversation with him, to bring before him your questions and to listen to his voice. Dear friends, I pray for you with all my heart. And I ask you to pray for me. Tonight let us ask the Lord to grant that, attracted by the beauty of his love, we may always live faithfully as his disciples. Amen.

Dear Friends: I thank you for your joy and your resistance. Your strength is greater than the rain. Thank you. With rain the Lord has sent us many blessings. In this also, you are an example."

[French] "Chers jeunes francophones, soyez fiers d’avoir reçu le don de la foi, c’est elle qui illuminera votre vie à chaque instant. Appuyez-vous sur la foi de vos proches, sur la foi de l’Église ! Par la foi, nous sommes fondés dans le Christ. Retrouvez-vous avec d’autres pour l’approfondir, fréquentez l’Eucharistie, mystère de la foi par excellence. Le Christ seul peut répondre aux aspirations que vous portez en vous. Laissez-vous saisir par Dieu pour que votre présence dans l’Église lui donne un élan nouveau !"

[English] "Dear young people, in these moments of silence before the Blessed Sacrament, let us raise our minds and hearts to Jesus Christ, the Lord of our lives and of the future. May he pour out his Spirit upon us and upon the whole Church, that we may be a beacon of freedom, reconciliation and peace for the whole world."

[German] "Liebe junge Christen deutscher Sprache! Tief in unserem Herzen sehnen wir uns nach dem Großen und Schönen im Leben. Laßt eure Wünsche und Sehnsüchte nicht ins Leere laufen, sondern macht sie fest in Jesus Christus. Er selber ist der Grund, der trägt, und der sichere Bezugspunkt für ein erfülltes Leben."

[Italian] "Mi rivolgo ora ai giovani di lingua italiana. Cari amici, questa Veglia rimarrà come un’esperienza indimenticabile della vostra vita. Custodite la fiamma che Dio ha acceso nei vostri cuori in questa notte: fate in modo che non si spenga, alimentatela ogni giorno, condividetela con i vostri coetanei che vivono nel buio e cercano una luce per il loro cammino. Grazie! Arrivederci a domani mattina!"

[Portuguese] "Meus queridos amigos, convido cada um e cada uma de vós a estabelecer um diálogo pessoal com Cristo, expondo-Lhe as próprias dúvidas e sobretudo escutando-O. O Senhor está aqui e chama-te! Jovens amigos, vale a pena ouvir dentro de nós a Palavra de Jesus e caminhar seguindo os seus passos. Pedi ao Senhor que vos ajude a descobrir a vossa vocação na vida e na Igreja, e a perseverar nela com alegria e fidelidade, sabendo que Ele nunca vos abandona nem atraiçoa! Ele está connosco até ao fim do mundo."

[Polish] "Drodzy młodzi przyjaciele z Polski! To nasze modlitewne czuwanie przenika obecność Chrystusa. Pewni Jego miłości zblżcie się do Niego płomieniem waszej wiary. On was napełni Swoim życiem. Budujcie wasze życie na Chrystusie i Jego Ewangelii. Z serca wam błogosławię."

* * *

"Dear Young Friends,
We have lived together an adventure. Strengthened by your faith in Christ, you have resisted the rain. Before leaving I wish you all good night. Have a good rest. I thank you for the sacrifice that you are making and I have no doubt that you will offer it generously to the Lord. We shall see one another tomorrow, God willing, in the celebration of the Eucharist. I am expecting all of you. I thank you for the fine example that you have given. As happened tonight, you can always, with Christ, endure the trials of life. Do not forget this. I thank you all."