Madrid is hotting up both climatically and religiously. Wow another great day, more unknown situation encountered. The first full day in the city has produced some great experiences. First of all the whole of Portsmouth diocese spent a small amount of time exploring the city and getting our bearings. We walked around in the mid morning sun happy and exicted walking past hundreds to thousands of World Youth day goers saying hola everytime and finding out where they were from.
We then had a small meeting where we were given our pilgrim packs for the week in Madrid. they’re great little packs with everything from books for mass, rosary, crucifix necklace, cartoon book about the life of the Pope, food vouchers, passes and surprisingly a small bottle of non-alcoholic beer.
After that we head out for some free time to explore parts of the city we wanted to, some went shopping, some to the world famous Santiago Bernabau Stadium and others to a local park to explore the stalls on offer that explored our faith through vocations, confession, rosary and also gave out plenty of freebies for those quick enough to grab some.
Then to end the day there was the opening mass of World Youth Day a celebration of the blessed John-Paul II and a chance to share a huge occasion with all the other pilgrims from across the world, chat and share your faith through word of mouth and through mass itself. And my goodness the crowds were crazy, everywhere you look there was people, flags and singing it streched all the way down one of Madrids main streets and the mass for those not quite able to squeeze your way to the front was screened on several large tv’s down the street. What an occasion I knew there were a lot of people here but it doesnt quite strike you until you see it and boy oh boy does it give you a buzz and make you proud and make you want to show who you are to everyone. absolutely great day, same again tomorrow please.