Young people follow in the footsteps of John Paul II

“Go and love!” – this was the slogan under which Lednica 2000, the biggest annual meeting of young Catholics took place for the twenty-first time.

There were joyful dances and songs, but also meditation and reflection, as well as recollections of the late John Paul II and Father Jan Góra – the initiator of the event who died in 2015. Thanks were also given for the World Youth Day event in Krakow.

Young people from all over the country, and foreign guests, priests and nuns – dozens of thousands of people gathered on Saturday on the Lednica Fields to participate in the annual meeting of young Catholics, which this year was organised under the slogan “Go and love!”

“You have travelled some distance to come here. So you are not – as Pope Francis wrote in this year’s message – young people sitting on a sofa. In order to feel good, you don’t need a sofa, but a community (…), you need Jesus Christ and each other, Jesus and the Church. This is why you have taken the road to Lednica and that is why we are together,” the Primate of Poland, Archbishop Wojciech Polak, said in his address to the participants of the Lednica meeting.

This year’s meeting focused on the Virgin Mary. One of the presents given to the participants were rosaries – “companions on the journey.” Pope Francis also offered a special rosary to Lednica. The way it was delivered was also special – it was flown over to the Lednica Fields with a paratrooper, Col. Krzysztof Szopiński.

Copies of icons of Our Lady of Częstochowa and Our Lady of Gietrzwald were also placed under the distinctive gate in the shape of a fish. The empty frame of the picture of Our Lady of Częstochowa was also transported on the 3rd Millennium road– in memory of its pilgrimage across Poland in the 1960s – when the icon was arrested by the authorities of the Polish People’s Republic.

The Eucharist began on the Lednica Fields in the evening, celebrated by Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki. “The whole world can tell you that you make no sense, that you are useless. The whole world can tell you this, but not God, because He says every time: I love you, I want you, and I need you. This night let us open ourselves to the experience of God’s love. Let God love you,” Bishop Grzegorz Ryś offered these words of encouragement in his homily.

What do the participants of this event have to say about it? “Amen” was uttered by 100,000 people, lighting each other’s candles, a beautiful musical setting and the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen – these are just some of the attractions that make going to Lednica worthwhile. The most important is, naturally, praising the Lord and the change that takes place in our hearts when it happens,” says Angelika Kłos, a student at the Military University of Technology. The meeting ended with an annual tradition of young people passing through the fish-shaped gate.

Source: “Gazeta Polska Codziennie”