Diocesan pilgrims celebrate 31st World Youth Day

In the land of the saint who created the celebration, millions have gathered in Poland with Pope Francis to celebrate the 31st World Youth Day.  This year’s theme is “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”

According to Catholic News Service, 2 million young people, nearly 50 cardinals, 800 bishops and 20,000 priests from around the world will attend the 6-day celebration July 26 through the July 31.

The Holy Father landed in Poland on Wednesday and met with Polish officials and bishops.  His official World Youth Day welcome is scheduled for July 28.

Thousands of pilgrims from the United States including groups from the Diocese of Cleveland are ready to join with youth from around the world to celebrate their faith.  One group, sponsored by St. Edward High School, traveled from Cleveland to Toronto to Prague to Poland.  Fr. Tim Roth and two campus ministers are accompanying seven young men on their pilgrimage.

Greg Margevicius, a recent St. Edward graduate, said that one of his favorite parts so far was following the opening Mass in Krakow’s Blonia Park, a couple hundred Mass-goers had gathered in a circle and began running laps with their country’s flag.  Margevicius was proud to run a few laps with the “Stars and Stripes.”

He is looking forward to the vigil with the Holy Father at Campus Misericordiae (Campus ofMercy) this Saturday evening followed by the closing Mass on Sunday.

Follow the Diocese of Cleveland on Twitter (@DioceseofCLE) for retweets and posts from many of the diocesan pilgrims celebrating World Youth Day.

Click HERE for the World Youth Day page from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Click HERE for the Official World Youth Day web site.

Click HERE for a blog from the St. Edward students at World Youth Day.