PORTUGAL: Salesian youth celebrate World Youth Day
More than 9,000 youth from 78 countries participated
(MissionNewswire) More than 354,000 Catholic youth celebrated World Youth Day in Lisbon, Portugal, the first week of August. The event is a week of religious, cultural and festive activities held approximately every three years in a different city. The Salesian Youth Movement brought together more than 9,000 youth from 78 countries and more than 500 volunteers, staff, and lay people.
Father Ángel Fernández Artime, rector major of the Salesians, and Mother Chiara Cazzuola, superior general of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, were also in attendance. The Salesian Youth Movement Day, held on Aug. 2, included a festival with the theme “Come, Live, Proclaim”.
A Salesian described the atmosphere, “Youth filled the Salesian house in Estoril with the typical energy of the Salesian oratory, with games, music and joy. There were stands and pavilions where young people of diverse nationalities could present their countries through short shows and games as well as a central stage where the afternoon program took place. At various times, Salesian hymns and songs were sung, each in their own language, demonstrating the universality of the Salesian message and charisma throughout the world.”
Along with the festival, the Salesian Youth Movement Day was also a moment of depth and authentic Salesian spirituality. There were times when silence was absolute and other times when different languages were spoken in the chapel. Youth prayed the rosary and called on God, through the intercession of Mary, for the Salesian family and the whole Catholic Church.
In the afternoon, Salesians in Estoril presented a dance and music show about St. John Bosco’s dream at age 9. After dinner, youth took their place in the courtyard to follow the prayer vigil, which started from St. John Bosco’s dream. Youth prayed for peace in the world, for the unity of the Church, for the evangelization of other young people, for the construction of a better world and for the salvation of all. At the close of the event, they awaited the words of encouragement and guidance offered by Mother Cazzuola and Fr. Artime.
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