World Youth Day - The saints and sights of Warsaw
It was a bright and early start for Mass, where we heard Bishop Micheal speak about Mary Magdalene, whose recently elevated feast day it is today, as the herald of the resurrection and a model for seeking mercy. The celebration of Mass was beautifully enhanced by the sweet melodies of Niamh, Lisa and our whole group, and it so impressed the local Monsignor that he asked us to sing at Mass on Sunday.
We embarked on another road trip (thankfully shorter) this time bound for Warsaw. While we travelled along, our recently compiled drama was practised - St Patrick The Musical! Stay tuned for the premiere of this awesome musical where the life of St Patrick will be brought to life with some contemporary music for our Polish hosts!
The first stop was the priory of St Maximilian Kolbe where we had the opportunity to venerate his relic. We encountered our fellow celts - Scots dressed in traditional garb - and sang a rendition of "Flower of Scotland".
We reached Warsaw in the early afternoon, where Fr Janusz became our official tour guide as he took us through the history of this capital city, stepping back in time to remember the liberation of Warsaw in 1945 and the Warsaw Uprising, the legacy of Cardinal Wyszynski and Victory Square where St John Paul II celebrated Mass in 1979, calling for God to conquer the oppressive regime.
During the evening our young pilgrims prayed, sang, danced and reflected in the beautiful St Bartholomew 's Church to some Taize hymns.
The WYD atmosphere continues to build momentum as we will join our other international pilgrims in Plock tomorrow.
Sadly two of our pilgrims have to travel home today because of the passing of loved ones; Bishop Michael for his brother John, and Alex for his dear granddad Des. May their souls rest in peace.