It seems it was not news for many. More than two million young people witnessed to their faith by going to Campus Misericordiae for the final Mass with Pope Francis at the end of the World Youth Day (Krakow, Poland). Most of them spent the whole night there.
I heard that some Polish young people (and certainly others from other countries ) were not sure about attending. They wanted to, but terrorist attacks scared them. Later, some regretted not being there... others changed their minds and made their way to the place. In fact the attendance grew by the day... 600.000 on Thursday, 800.000 on Friday, 1.2 million on Saturday and 2 million or more on Sunday.
I wonder how this massive testimony by our young people might not be news. Maybe because it has happened in the past. Brazil gathered 3.5 million at the end. Still...
These are not people sent by an organisation. They worked hard to pay for their own tickets, registration and accommodation. In Poland they spent time knowing the people welcoming them and their history. They spent time in prayer, they reflected and shared their faith in catechesis led by bishops... they walked long distances to attend the gatherings and go back home.
In a world marked by war and violence, two million people took the risk of coming together.
What moves them?
As she was leaving, a Spanish woman who led a group of young people said: "Not only they enjoyed it, it helped them".
Three young people from Kenya asked me to pray for them: 'we need Jesus in our lives'. So simple. So clear.
At the end they had only two things to say. The first one was "Thank you Poland'" Tears in their eyes and long hugs.
The second...? "See you in Panama".