|WELCOME TO MADRID!
WELCOME TO THE WORLD YOUTH DAY!
This year, the theme of the World Youth Day is “Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith” (cf. Colossians 2,7). On behalf of all those who have worked to organize the events of these coming days, and quoting our Holy Father Pope Benedict, the Augustinians say to each one of you: “I encourage you to take part in this event, which is so important for the Church in Europe and for the universal Church. I would like all young people – those who share our faith in Jesus Christ, but also those who are wavering or uncertain, or who do not believe in him – to share this experience, which can prove decisive for their lives. It is an experience of the Lord Jesus, risen and alive, and of his love for each of us.” (from the message of Pope Benedict XVI for the 26th World Youth Day).
On Tuesday evening, at “Colegio Valdeluz”, one of the Order’s schools in Madrid, the Augustinian youth and leaders gathered to renew our baptismal promises. This symbolic gesture, complete with our being reminded of our baptism through the water that was used to bless us, introduced all the participants into the celebration of our faith in Jesus Christ that we have come to celebrate during the coming days. The celebration was given deeper meaning as we reflected upon the theme of martyrdom, of being willing to stand up and to proclaim our faith in spite of the challenges we face, and we listened to a presentation on the Augustinian martyrs, especially those who died in the religious persecution in Spain in the 1930’s.
As Augustinians, we unite our celebrations and our faith to the whole Church, and for that reason we hope that all who have come to Madrid will have a meaningful experience of the universal Church, our Catholic faith community.
To those who are unable to come to Madrid, we invite you to join us in prayer, and to accompany all those who have gathered here from around the world. Our faith is in Jesus Christ, and our way of living out our faith is by building up the community of believers.