This Mass marked the official start of World Youth Day. It was presided over by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who was already joined by thousands of young people in the Campus Blonia. The Archbishop of Krakow welcomed the pilgrims from around the world like this.
The relics of St. John Paul II and St. Faustina Kowalska were on the altar during the ceremony. Also the Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, who was beatified by John Paul II and whom the Pope defined as a role model for youth. The three are the patrons of this WYD.
In his homily, the Polish cardinal asked the young people to listen to the voice of Pope Francis these days. They were also invited to remember the teachings of John Paul II and to open their hearts to Christ.
The overcast sky and rain did not scare the young pilgrims who showed their enthusiasm throughout the celebration.
It is a special World Youth Day because it is celebrated in the home country of the Pope who promoted these world youth meetings.
Therefore, the imprint of John Paul II will be very present during these days in Krakow, the city where he lived and worked for 40 years and was also the archbishop.
Pope Francis arrives tomorrow at about four in the afternoon, local Krakow time. On Sunday, he will close this thirty-first World Youth Day with a Mass at which he will announce which city will host the next WYD.