Before returning to Rome, the Pope wanted to say goodbye to the young people who waited for him day after day, along with the Archbishop of Krakow. He, once again, looked out of this already famous balcony.
"Thank you for the warm welcome these past days and now, before I go, I want to bless you all but I also want to ask you not to forget to pray for me.”
The anticipation and excitement
was evident upon his arrival to the Tauron Arena. The event resembled that of a popular rock concert. The Farewell party was organized for him by the WYD volunteers in Krakow.
The young people attending were quick to use all of their creativity and wit to get the Pope's attention. As you can see, this banner signals to a phone number for the Pope to call.
Pope Francis greeted them and worshiped the image of the Virgin of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska
whom John Paul II felt a great devotion since childhood.
The organizers thanked the Pope for his message of hope and love for the youth in Krakow. Then, a Panamanian volunteer gave him this shirt. Thus, completing the 2019 Pilgrim kit.
The Pope once again spoke off-the-cuff and ended up altering his speech.
"It's a little boring.”
And as he does often, he left his papers aside and asked.
"Should I speak in Spanish?"
He thanked the volunteers for their hard work and prayers within the past months for a smooth continuation of what is left of WYD. He
said, they are the hope for the future, provided that they have the memory of the past and courage in the present.
"I do not know if I will be in Panama but I can assure you one thing: that Peter will be in Panama and Peter will ask you if you have spoken with your grandparents, if you have spoken to your elders in order to have memory; if you have had the courage and bravery to face situations and plan things for the future. And you will answer to Peter. Is that clear?”
Pope Francis blessed them and left surrounded by a sea of affection from all of these 20,000 young people. And just like that, this is where the intense three years to prepare Krakow 2016 ends. The countdown for the next World Youth Day in Panama in 2019 commences now.