If you follow me on Twitter (or are regular reader of OsbieBeauty) you know that July was a big month for me. I have traveled to five different countries (Poland, Germany, Czech Republic,and France). I have visited some of the most amazing cities in the world, and I have lived one of the most life-changing church experience of my life. There’s so much to talk about that it wouldn’t fit in one single blog post. That’s why I have decided to breakdown my travel experience in different posts each one of them will be reflecting one specific aspect of my trip. Today I wanted to share my World Youth Day 2016 experience with you guys.
The World Youth Day (WYD) were created in 1984 by the Pope John-Paul II, for more then 30 years, The church has sent a special invite to young people to gather together and live a church experience. To me it was my first WYD and I felt so lucky that they were taking place in Kraków,Poland (John-Paul II homeland).
I went on a trip led by la Famille Marie Jeunesses (FMJ), which is a new Catholic community that started in Canada at the end of the 80’s. Fmj’s mission is especially centered around young people between the age of 15 and 30, they are very welcoming and hospitable (to me there are like a second family). The beauty of living the WYD with them is that I’ve learned so much more about living the Gospel on a day today bases with the softness of heart of the Blessed Mary.
This trip was a very humbling trip for me. I had to leave everything that I knew everything that were part of my comfort zone, and my daily life behind. Which means not sleeping in my own comfy bed, no Internet connection, no cell phone, no makeup, no weaves, no wigs, no nothing just me and my bare heart waiting for Jesus to works some miracles. And let me tell you that I was not disappointed.
For the WYD week my group and I were blessed enough to live in host family. I was very impressed by Polish people. Can you imagine inviting five or six foreign people and their luggage into your home for over a week? My host family consisted of a young woman her husband and her little sister and they treated us as if we were part of their own family. I was so touched by their kindness towards us. And let’s not forget the volunteers who worked so hard to make sure we weren’t missing anything.
During the world youth day we were invited multiple time to go deep down inside our hearts to find Christ’s love for us and try just try to love one another with all our imperfections. We tried to see ourselves with the eyes of Christ and love ourselves for what we are and not what we have. We had a lot of teaching regarding our vocation our true vocation, and how to stand tall as a Christian in a world where what you have in your wallet is more important than your neighbor.
Like the tradition wants it the World Youth Days ends with a vigil, and in the morning we have a special mess celebrate with the Pope. We were 2.5 millions out there. 2.5 millions kids from different countries, with different cultures, with different languages, that were united by one same thing our faith. I’ve met some of the funniest people in my life and even though we weren’t speaking the same language we managed to understand each other. To me that’s the beauty of the Holy Spirit.
What stroked me the most about Pope Francis message, is that he invited us to get out of our couches, stop wasting our time in front of a computer or video games (or whatever else they can block us from the real world), get out there and be living witness of the love of Christ in our world who so desperately needs it.
Again I’m trying to make this short, I could write on and on about my experience at the World Youth Day and what we lived there. I could write about the vigil walk and sleep over . I could write about how my discovering of Saint Maria Faustyna changed my vision of God’s mercy, or how following the footsteps of Saint John-Paul II revived this fire and this love in my heart for every living soul in this world. I could write about the beautiful atmosphere of that candle lit evening… But we would probably still be here tomorrow!
Yes the World Youth Day can be a very noisy affair, and maybe a bit too crowded for my liking … but the moments of silence are very powerful… can you imagine 2.5 millions in perfect silence venerating Christ? To me the WYD we’re such a rich experience. I have received different the bouquets of graces and insight. Some subtle and some more dramatic, some shared and some very specific. It just all shows that our God’s care for us personally. And now knowing this I’m not afraid to say “Jezu Ufam Tobie” (Jesus I Trust un You).
Love, Helene Xx
ps : credits for all the pictures used in this post goes to Famille Marie Jeunesses