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XXVIII Jornada Mundial da Juventude

Testimonies from World Youth Day 2013

Alex & Patrick      

Alex, who's 19 & from the UK: "When I was in Rio, the thing that blew me away was just the way that you could see the Holy Spirit was really working alongside the event. The thing that gave it away completely for me was when we had to change the location of the final event from Campus Fidei to Copacabana beach, and this whole operation happened in a matter of just two or three days. When you think that the people preparing for Campus Fidei for all the pilgrims had been working or months and then they just had to change the location almost overnight. But looking at the way the event turned out, it was a huge success, it was absolutely amazing, you wouldn't have thought that something as huge as that could have changed so quickly."

Patrick, who's 28 & half Brit, half Swiss: "It was great to be in Rio with Pope Francis and to hear the messages he had for us. He instructed us to put Christ on, to not just stay in the institutions or the Church but to really go out and make disciples of all nations. One of the things that he asked us to do was to create havoc, which is quite a strong word but one which probably appeals a lot to young people and something that hopefully we can do with our faith. Obviously in a positive way, a constructive way, but not to be afraid to cause shock waves and to really get out and make Jesus known and the Catholic faith known and the beauty that exists within it to others."

Pope Francis: "Let us ask Our Lady to help us too to give Christ’s joy to our families, our companions, our friends, to everyone. Never be afraid to be generous with Christ. It is worth it! Go out and set off with courage and generosity, so that every man and every woman may meet the Lord."

Music - Go by Ooberfuse


Paula, who's 37 & from Chile: "I have attended two World Youth Days in my life: Madrid in 2011 and Rio de Janeiro in 2013. Both have been very different experiences and both have been totally life-changing. ..I attended JMJ in Rio as an international volunteer .. I will never forget when Pope Francis visited Our Lady of Aparecida and the devotion, love and kisses he gave not only to many pilgrims gathered there to see him but also to the statue of Our Lady. The way he embraced and carried her with such love and tenderness, like a son looks after his mother, it was a great testimony of love to the Virgin Mary and it was very moving to see."

Papa Francisco: "Queridos jovens,.. Primeiramente quero lhes agradecer pelo testemunho de fé que vocês estão dando ao mundo. .. Vocês são verdadeiros heróis!Vejo em vocês a beleza do rosto jovem de Cristo e meu coração se enche de alegria! Lembro-me da primeira Jornada Mundial da Juventude a nível internacional. Foi celebrada em 1987 na Argentina, na minha cidade de Buenos Aires. Guardo vivas na memória estas palavras do Bem-aventurado João Paulo II aos jovens: «Tenho muita esperança em vocês! Espero, sobretudo, que renovem a fidelidade de vocês a Jesus Cristo e à sua cruz redentora»."

"Queridos amigos, se caminhamos na esperança, deixando-nos surpreender pelo vinho novo que Jesus nos oferece, há alegria no nosso coração e não podemos deixar de ser testemunhas dessa alegria. O cristão é alegre, nunca está triste. Deus nos acompanha. Temos uma Mãe que sempre intercede pela vida dos seus filhos, por nós, como a rainha Ester na primeira leitura (cf. Est 5, 3). Jesus nos mostrou que a face de Deus é a de um Pai que nos ama. O pecado e a morte foram derrotados. O cristão não pode ser pessimista! Não pode ter uma cara de quem parece num constante estado de luto. Se estivermos verdadeiramente enamorados de Cristo e sentirmos o quanto Ele nos ama, o nosso coração se “incendiará” de tal alegria que contagiará quem estiver ao nosso lado. Como dizia Bento XVI, aqui neste Santuário: «O discípulo sabe que sem Cristo não há luz, não há esperança, não há amor, não há futuro” (13 de maio de 2007).

Queridos amigos, viemos bater à porta da casa de Maria. Ela abriu-nos, fez-nos entrar e nos aponta o seu Filho. Agora Ela nos pede: «Fazei o que Ele vos disser» (Jo 2,5). Sim, Mãe, nos comprometemos a fazer o que Jesus nos disser! E o faremos com esperança, confiantes nas surpresas de Deus e cheios de alegria. Assim seja."


Claz, who's 30 & from London: "World Youth Day Brazil was spectacular. It was unbelievably blessed … To see somebody opening their heart to Christ's message, to Christ's love was for me absolutely life-changing. So I highly recommend that if you're interested in going to a WYD, try and find a group that goes for the whole two weeks where you've got the first week of missionary work and the second week of general World Youth Day activities, because how this impacts you can really, really change something in your life and allow God to really touch your heart there as well."

Pope Francis [in Portuguese]: "As I express my thanks and bid farewell, my thoughts turn to those who are at the heart of these celebrations: the young people! May God bless you for the beautiful witness of your lives and for your intense and joyful participation over these last few days. Many of you came here as disciples; I have no doubt that all of you will leave as missionaries. Through your joyful witness and service, help to build a civilization of love. Show, by your life, that it is worth giving your time and talents in order to attain high ideals, it is worth recognizing the dignity of each human person, and it is worth taking risks for Christ and his Gospel. It is he that we have come to seek because he first sought us. It is he who has inflamed our hearts with the desire to take the Good News to the large cities and to the small communities, to the countryside and to all the corners of this vast planet. I will always place my hopes in the young people of Brazil and in the young around the world: through them, Christ is preparing a new springtime all over the earth. I have seen its first fruits and I know that others will joyfully reap the full harvest."