Saturday was an amazing day! In the morning, there was no Catechesis, so many of us caught up on some much needed sleep! After we all got ready we headed to the mall to get lunch. Due to the nice weather, they had the top patio open for people to take in the amazing view of the water and mountains.
Once we had all eaten, we met up with a group of American Vincentians and headed for Copacabana! Copacabana was packed with people. Reporters said that there was over 3 million people, over 2 million from outside of Rio and 1 million from Rio, making this the second largest World Youth Day, next to the Philippines which had 4 and a half million. Later that night we had eucharistic adoration which was lead by the Pope, as well as testimonies given by people from all over the world.
An amazing quote that was said many times by Pope Francis was “Go, do not be afraid, and serve”. This quote related a lot to me, especially as a Vincentian. It gave me a sense of reassurance that by being a part of St. Vincent dePaul I am doing what God wants of me. Pope Francis also said that he had confidence in the youth of this church, and that he is counting on us, those words also really made me feel something, to hear that Catholic youths are making him proud was a great feeling.
Once the service was over majority of the Canadians and Americans left to go home, Christina and I,however, decided to stay. We, along with over a million people slept over night on Copacabana beach! Shout out to Lilian Mulder from the St. Louise deMarilac conference from London, ON for giving me a tent! The atmosphere in Copacabana after those amazing words from the Pope was energetic and vibrant! People were up all night in the streets dancing and playing music. Christina and I were hungry at 1 am and got delicious burgers at a restaurant called “Rota 66” which was packed with people, even at 1 am!
On the beach we met some more Canadians! One of my favorite things about World Youth Day has to be meeting Canadians from across the country! They are always so friendly and we end up talking for a long time. Before we went to bed we got a picture with one of the Canadians we met, along with our tent accompanied by a Canadian flag we pined on it!
Tomorrow, we have the final mass lead by the Pope and the closing ceremonies, plus we get to find out where the next World Youth Day is! This trip has been one of the best experiences of my life, seeing a new culture and being around so many young people who have such a strong faith is inspiring! I have loved World Youth Day in Rio de Janerio, and am going to miss it a lot when we leave Monday night.
Tags: EIJV, SVDP, World Youth Day, Youth