(Vatican Radio) As Pope Francis' apostolic journey to Brazil to celebrate World Youth
Day draws to a close, all those involved sum up the past eventful week, singling out
some of the more significant or touching moments.
Vatican Radio's Sean Patrick Lovett asks Fr. Federico Lombardi, Director of the Vatican Press Office to share his three favourite/significant/important moments of World Youth Day in Rio.
Listen to what he has to say...
The moments in which Pope Francis was profoundly moved were the moments that Fr Lombardi says are the ones that most stand out for him.
The first – he says - when he prayed in front of the Virgin of Aparecida in the Sanctuary of Aparecida. “This is the Marian moment which he desired very much and he had decided to add to the trip to Brazil. This encounter with the Mother for him was deeply important and touching”.
The second – Fr. Lombardi continues – is the moment in the Chapel of St. Jerome Emiliani in the favela. “There too I saw him profoundly moved spiritually, taking part in the suffering of the people”. The Pope says – Fr. Lombardi points out – says he desires a poor Church for the poor and “this was the occasion in which he was with the poor and for them, in the Chapel spiritually witnessing the love of God for the poor”.
And the third favourite moment chosen by Fr. Lombardi came at the end of the concluding Mass. He says “the Pope stressed very much the missionary character of the Church. This was the moment in which he sent all these young people who came to Rio to go out into the world, to go to the ends of the world, to announce the love of God”. The Pope says continuously – Fr. Lombardi points out “you are not to remain inside, you have to go out’. And he says this was the moment in which this immense crowd of more than three million people was effectively beginning to go into the world to bring the word of God and the announcement of the love of God in a very concrete way.
“If you have 3 million people present” – Fr. Lombardi concludes – plus all the millions who have seen and heard his message “if they too go then the world will receive a good service from the Church”.