World Youth Day 2013

A week of hope and inspiration

Affectionately dubbed “Hurricane Francis”, by local media, Pope Francis took Brazil by storm during his week-long stay this past week in Rio de Janeiro as he presided over “World Youth Day - 2013”. This year’s theme was “Go and make disciples of all nations”, and everywhere he went, massive crowds of the faithful, both young and old greeted the Pope with shouts of joy, and listened intently to his message of hope, inspiration and concern for the poor.

For the Saturday evening vigil at the famous Copacabana Beach, over one million pilgrims, mostly young people, crowded the beach for and evening of prayer, spiritual guidance from the Holy Father, and great music. The Brazilians really know to produce an inspirational show, the best I have ever seen. By Sunday morning, for the closing Mass and ceremony, the youthful crowd had swelled to over three million. It was noted by the civil authorities how well behaved and trouble free all the young people were. The major media took very little notice of this event. However, the Internet, YouTube, etc, is full of videos of this youthful celebration.

Three million people attend World Youth Day closing Mass on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro (CNS)

Videos Saturday EVENING VIGIL- WORLD YOUTH DAY - 2013 Pope meets with volunteers Popes departure

All the channels had news regarding WYD 2013. None negative, mostly reporting on the large attendance.


Someone posted on a blog that CNN has videos of women in bikinis during the pope’s mass. I don’t know if this is true nor do I know the context of CNN’s report.

However, before anyone sees this, if it does exist, let’s remember that the major events of WYD took place on the beach. The beach was not closed off to the public. The only part of the beach that was off limits was the area around the stage and those areas reserved for dignitaries.

In simple words, there were probably bathers there who had nothing to do with WYD.

I attended WYD in Denver. It was at a park. While we were using one part of the park for our events, there were people playing tennis, walking their dogs or taking their children for a stroll in nearby.

In most cities, you can’t close off a publicly owned area for an entire week without repercussions from the locals.

If we want to be truly holy, we must do as St. Augustine tells us. Look at the good in all things.

I always tell the brothers that the road to hell is paved with good intentions and whiners and critics often make very good use of it.

World Youth Day 2013 was a time Catholics around the world should not forget! In my opinion the church is changing its image mostly by creating an online campaign that hasn’t been seen by any other type of religion before. Pope Francis I believe is backing off the usual traditional ways of the church and is trying to appeal to the younger generation.

Pray With The Pope is where Catholics worldwide can join in an unbroken prayer chain set by Pope Francis every month. Users also can purchase prayer medallions that they can track and see where the coin has traveled.

Hope this helps, and God Bless!

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