YOUTH ARE ATTRACTED TO JOHN PAUL II
March 24 (EWTNews) Since 1989, over 500,000
youth have flocked to hear Pope John Paul II at various gatherings
around the world. Today in Galilee, was no exception, as over 100,000
young people from throughout the Holy Land and the world gathered at
the largest event ever held in Israel. It is probably the first time
that about 50,000 youth from the Middle East have had the opportunity
to meet together.
During today’s Mass, as with all events
between the Pope and youth, there was a vocational call. This
vocational call was unique because it happened in the same place where
Jesus initiated the first apostles and it was here that Jesus appeared
to the 500 and sent them to announce the Gospel to the whole world.
These gatherings and vocational calls have
produced much fruit for the Church. Since 1989, over 600 young men
have become priests, countless others have entered seminary and over
2,000 young ladies have entered religious life as sisters.
To get to today’s event with the Holy Father
was not an easy task for many of the youth. Many have worked for more
than a year to save money for this trip and for some, the money needed
to come was equivalent to one-year’s salary.
Once here, the youth still faced obstacles. The
night vigil, which was to held on Thursday before the Friday Mass with
the Holy Father, had to be cancelled due to inclement weather which
even brought some snow. But their spirits were not dampened by either
the weather or having to wait for the Pope to arrive. At the first
glimpse of the popemobile, they erupted into chants of "Viva
Baba" and "John Paul II, we love you!".