The day began with a sea full of pilgrims laying on the surface of the airport runway in Cuatro Vientos airbase. Most pilgrims had a mat to cover themselves from the dust, gravel and rough dry grass that had so many wild insects. These insects would annoy most of the female pilgrims. Such as the huge ants that would crawl out from the holes of the ground that have been disturbed by the pilgrims’ spilled drinks and food.
Some of the pilgrims were still asleep and tired from the heat and celebrations of the vigil last night. Many exciting things happened right before the preparation of the Final Mass with Pope Benedict XVI.
The rest of the pilgrims were still awake from last night’s buzz and excitement from the joys of being together under the stars. I still can’t believe we were all sleeping under the sky with over one million pilgrims. Everyone slowly got up from their mats and sleeping bags and rushed to the toilets to clean themselves up.
What stood out from this event was the pilgrims who all came from different parts of the world to share their faith. Also to witness the Holy Father spread the good news especially challenging us from the worldly things.
My experience of WYD has been a blast compared to the last one in Sydney, Australia. I enjoyed every aspect of it.
The highlight for me was having lunch with the Pope with 11 other international volunteers.
It was a challenging week of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual obstacles. But I had to remind myself that this is a pilgrimage where I have to be calm during the storm.
This was an exhausting day for me and I could feel all the pain I had been through since day one. 7 days at WYD has been a challenge for many of us. There are so many things that I had to overcome. The prayer of the rosary has helped me in times of need and trouble.
The Mass was a challenge for all of us to appreciate what we have. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it.
NOW the next one is in 2013 RIO DE JANEIRO!! I will see you there. Let’s look forward to another challenge.
My aim is to be a volunteer for the Rio one. I think that would be a real challenge towards my faith.
Muchas gracias WYD Madrid 2011!!
The Holy Father, Grandma, parents, siblings, extended family, friends, parish of St Peter Chanel, Auckland pilgrims and followers/subscribers.