Vocations

12,000 young Europeans made the pilgrimage to Santiago

In recent weeks, two large youth gatherings have taken place in Europe, a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and the Medjugorje youth festival, which was attended by tens of thousands of participants.

Javier Garcia-August 8, 2022-Reading time: 2 minutes

Photo: a group of young people arriving at their expected destination. ©Spanish Episcopal Conference

From August 3 to 7, the European Youth Pilgrimage. Although it was planned for the summer of 2021, the pandemic forced to delay it for a year. The pilgrimage is organized by the Subcommission for Youth and Children of the Spanish Episcopal Conference in conjunction with the Archdiocese of Santiago.

Throughout the week, thousands of young people completed the final stages of the road to SantiagoThe event was a great success, as they intensified their catechesis and sacramental life. Hundreds of parishes, movements and religious institutions came to meet the apostle. In addition to Spain, the largest groups came from Portugal and Italy. Thanks to the collaboration of 400 young Galician volunteers, it was possible to attend to a much larger logistics than usual on the Jacobean route.

Reflecting on vocation

The PEJ22 had a space called "The Portico of Vocation", located in the Major Seminary of Compostela, next to the cathedral. The place offered an itinerary for proclamation (kerygma), accompaniment, listening, dialogue and basic vocational orientation. In this itinerary the young people participated in an experience divided into three parts: listening, clarification and personalization. This last proposal consisted of five vocational areas: family, education, charity, apostolate and mission, consecration.

The itinerary took the Portico of Glory as a reference point because, to all the pilgrims of the PEJ22, it announces good news: the beauty of life as a vocation. In this masterpiece of medieval art are represented various forces that are in the initiation to the faith and the Christian journey. And like any vocational proposal, each one has to give an answer, a mission is due.

Closing Mass

Cardinal Marto, special delegate sent by the Pope, presided over the closing Eucharist on Sunday morning, the 7th, at Monte del Gozo. Fifty-five bishops from Spain, Portugal and Italy concelebrated, along with some 400 priests.

In his homily, Marto stressed to the young people that "Jesus proposes a new way of relating to one another, based on the logic of love and service. It is an authentic revolution in the face of human criteria of selfishness and ambition for power and domination: the revolution of fraternity that starts from fraternal love to encompass the culture of mutual care, the culture of encounter that builds bridges, tears down walls of division and shortens distances between persons, cultures and peoples. Our meeting in Santiago is a beautiful example of this".

After the celebration of the Eucharist, the Archbishop of Santiago, Julián Barrio, evaluated the events of these days before the media. In his words he said that he has "met with young people who pray (...), with young people who think, who try to discern the reality in which they find themselves; to which we have to respond at all times (...). I do not know what they can do but with their attitude and their way of seeing things, our society can be better".

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