Every day, we are getting closer to World Youth Day which will be held this July. As before every important event or oncoming feast, we are careful about putting our home and heart in order while waiting for guests. So, how is Poland preparing for the arrival of the Pontiff, and are we also ready for this encounter?
This year, as we know, WYD will take place in Krakow during the last week of July. The opportunity to host the Pope of Rome and pilgrimages from all over the world fell to Krakow’s lot for the second time. This time, the Polish city competed with London, Riga and Seoul.
At the Marian Basilica, located in the Krakow Market Square, an electronic countdown has been made, counting to the date of World Youth Day. Important moments like this seem to indicate how short time is and how it is essential to make opportune and rational use of every day and hour.
The Square itself is under reconstruction: old cobbles are being renewed, pedestrian paths are being leveled, old road curbs are being painted. Near the Divine Mercy campus, where most of the principal events will take place, construction has almost been completed. Currently, comfortable wooden benches are being placed, and tents are being pitched.
Nevertheless, these are not all of the Poles’ efforts. Krakow has never been short of tourists; however, its residents do their best so that all willing people are able to get to such an important event as WYD.
The Poles have founded a program for young people from the poorer countries called «Ticket for a Brother». The funds are gathered by the Polish parishes themselves for the countries included into this program. The Polish youth have organized fairs where various hand-made products are sold as well as parish donations are collected. Gathered funds are also directed to support the youth willing to come to WYD but lack the financial possibility.
Concerning Ukraine, it is the first time in the history of World Youth Day that the Ukrainian language, from among eight others, has become an official one. On the headquarters’ walls, the flags of the countries from where volunteers come are displayed, including the Ukrainian flag. From Ukraine, there will be 40 assistants and 10 thousand pilgrims.
The youth of Ukrainian are getting more and more involved in the WYD participation, particularly as volunteer numbers increase. Many young people from Ukraine are saving money from their stipends in order to have the opportunity to experience the WYD atmosphere, to meet the Pope of Rome and to just pray together for peace in Ukraine.
Everyone is preparing in their own way: some in deeds and others in thoughts. The main thing is not to allow any circumstances to impede one’s insuperable desire, as everything is possible to accomplish by desiring it.
Just as reminder, thanks to the cooperation between the UGCC Patriarchal Youth Commission and The Holy Spirit Lviv Spiritual Seminary, the spiritual preparation program for Ukrainian youth entitled “Youth 2016” has been elaborated. You are still able to join it! See HERE >>>
Have you decided to take part in World Youth Day?
The address of the coordinator of World Youth Day in your eparchy.