Year of Youth 2018

WYD Symbols Make Their Way Through Krakow

Last edited 27th May 2016

WYD Symbols Make Their Way Through Krakow

"This simple wooden cross has been traveling across Poland for over two years and youth look for consolation and light in it. In the modern world, the cross is considered uncomfortable (because it means death), but we know that it is primarily a challenge since death always brings with it new life," said Bp. Damian Muskus in his homily today during the Mass that marked the beginning of the pilgrimage of the WYD symbols in the Archdiocese of Krakow.

The cross and icon of Our Lady were handed over to the youth of Krakow by Archbishop Eugeniusz Popowicz, Metropolitan of the Greek Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of Premysl-Warszawa, and youth from this diocese.

In the Sanctuary of Saint John Paul II many faithful gathered, and not only from Poland. You could see the feelings especially in faces of young people, who at the time of personal prayer before the symbols of WYD felt they are "touching holiness".

Gabriela Flaszczynska - a volunteer from the volunteer section of the OC of WYD in Krakow - emphasizes that these symbols have a particular value. "The Icon of Our Lady Salus Populi Romani is for Italians as important as for Poles are Our Lady of Czestochowa or of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska. For me this is quite simply my mother, with a gaze full of true love. Millions of people looked at this cross and icon, this is definitely an encouragement to go to today's celebrations."

Gabrysia also adds that her presence here was her WYD responsibility and responsibility as a young person.

Bishop Damian Muskus, general coordinator of WYD indicated that this day opens the last stage of the preparations to the events in July. The hierarch also recalled that World Youth Days aren't a great religious festival, a church investment in youth or a great logistical challenge, but are first of all a space of the working of the Holy Spirit. Our most important task is to open our hearts to his work, we ought to constantly pray for this.

Natalia Piatek, who came for the welcoming of the symbols of WYD in the Center of John Paul II in a festive, regional costume from Nowy Targ, noted that the cross and icon of Our Lady are for young people indicators, signs of conversion, help. We will only remind you that the pilgrimage of the symbols of WYD is one of the most important elements of the preparations of the host nation for World Youth Day. They pilgrimage from diocese to diocese, from city to city; they visit churches and prisons, schools and hospitals. Young and old carry the cross and icon around the streets on their own shoulders, they adore them and with great veneration they kiss them like relics. The Symbols of WYD came to Poland on April 14, 2014, straight from Rome, and from this time have ceaselessly moved the hearts of Poles.

The Cross of World Youth Day and the icon of Our Lady Salus Populi Romani were present during the 6 official WYD "For us and for the whole world" spiritual conferences in Lagiewniki. They will visit all of the deaneries of the Archdiocese of Krakow and will be present during the meetings of young people with Pope Francis in July in Krakow.

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