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Do not be afraid!


“Do not be afraid”, an echo of a similar invitation made forty-five years ago by Pope Saint John Paul II in a different context, were the key words of Pope Francis that resonated in his address to the young people, during the vigil of this year’s World Youth Day, that took place at the Campo da Graça (Field of Grace), Lisbon on 5 August. The highlights of the 37th World Youth Day with the theme «Mary arose and went with haste» (Lk 1:39), held from the 1st to the 6th of August in Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal include: the opening mass presided by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, His Eminence, Dom Manuel Clemente; the Welcome Ceremony, which was the first meeting of the young people with the successor of Saint Peter; the Way of the Cross presided by the Pope; the Vigil and the Missioning Mass, both also presided by the Holy Father.


Among the about one and half million young people that participated in this year’s World Youth Day, were four of our seminarians who through the benevolent instrumentality of don Claudio Gonzaga, the parish priest of San Terenziano’s parish, Cavriago, were privileged to participate together with the youth of his parish and by extension, of the whole diocese, Reggio Emilia and Guastalla. These four of our seminarians, Mauricio Silva, Angel Cepeda, Cesar Augusto Veras and Solomon Ezekwueme recounting their first and only experience of the WYD, highlighted that despite the little difficulties encountered, the WYD remains an experience that has left deep and indelible impressions in their spiritual and ecclesiastical life. According to them, it was really an experience of profound hope, witnessing the joy among young people who have gathered from various countries to share this special moment of encounter of faith together with the Pope.

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