July 2016: World Youth Day in John Paul II's homeland

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At the beginning of July, the Vatileaks II Process was closed, during which three Vatican dependents and two journalists were tried. The only one who went to jail was the Spanish priest.
'... condemns the accused to the penalty of 18 months of imprisonment.'

In July, the pope appointed new Vatican spokespersons, American Greg Burke and a Spanish woman, Paloma Garcí­a Ovejero.
'How is it going?'
'I'm a Galician stuck in the Vatican ...'
At the end of July, the pope traveled to Poland to participate in World Youth Day.
The first great visit of the trip to Poland was to Czestochowa, the spiritual heart of Poland. The pope movingly prayed before the Black Madonna; one of John Paul II's most beloved devotions.
The Mass began with a scare, a slight stumble that had no further consequences. That is why, before the homily began, the crowd greeted him with this applause.
Perhaps the most intense moment of his trip to Poland was in the Auschwitz extermination camp. He visited it alone and in silence, because there are no words to describe one of the greatest horrors in history.

He greeted 10 survivors of the Holocaust one-by-one in front of the 'death wall,' where thousands of people were shot.
At Birkenau, Psalm 130 was played, which is the bitter song of a desperate person who calls for God's help from the depths. Meanwhile, the pope walked before the memorial for people who died in concentration camps during World War II.

The most important moment at WYD was this prayer vigil at dusk on an field near Krakow, with space for more than one million young people.
Pope Francis entered through this symbolic holy door, hand-in-hand with young people from around the world.
In an energetic speech, he invited them not to be drowsy young people and asked them not to settle for a life lived as couch potatoes.
'Dear young people, we didnâ??t come into this world to 'vegetate,' to take it easy, to make our lives a comfortable sofa to fall asleep on. No, we came for another reason: to leave a mark. It is very sad to pass through life without leaving a mark. Jesus wants your hands to continue building the world of today. And he wants to build that world with you. What will you answer? What do you answer, yes or no?'

Then came the long-awaited moment of Eucharistic Adoration. More than one and a half million young people from Campus Misericordiae, or 'The Field of Mercy,' joined the pope in silent prayer.
The pope left for the night, but the youth all spent the night there.
The next morning, they welcomed him once again when he arrived to celebrate a Mass just for them.
'Donâ??t let your soul grow numb, but aim for the goal of a beautiful love which also demands sacrifice. Say a firm 'noâ? to the narcotic of success at any cost and the sedative of worrying only about yourself and your own comfort.'

Before saying goodbye, Pope Francis called them together again for the next World Youth Day.

'... It will be in 2019 in Panama.'

While there is still a lot of time left, the pope has already started preparing. For now, he has the Panamanian national team shirt, and the hat the peasants of the country wear, which was delivered to him on the plane.

Up: JD

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