07/30/2016, 17.25
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Campus Misericordiae: the beating heart of the Krakow WYD

by V.F.P.

Young pilgrims are coming in from around the world to be at the Field of Mercy in Brzegi (Wieliczka). Tonight they will take part in a vigil with Pope Francis and worship the Blessed Sacrament. Among those who will bear witness, one is a young Syrian from Aleppo; another is a former addict.

Krakow (AsiaNews) – The field in Brzegi (Wieliczka) used to be a swamp where Soviet-era "enemies of the people" were sent to work on land reclamation. Today, “the presence of the pope and of young people from around the world really cleaned it up,” said Paulina, a 20-year-old Krakow woman.

To cope with the scorching heat on the penultimate day of the 31st World Youth Day, she set up a large tent. She will spend the night in there after the long vigil with Francis before dismantling it tomorrow after the last Mass.

Tonight’s schedule includes going through the Holy Door specifically brought from Krakow to Campus Misericordiae, the Field of Mercy. Five young people from as many continents will cross it tonight with Francis.

Andreij is from Ukraine and is moved by this symbolic image. "For you Italians the presence of the pope is almost normal,” he told AsiaNews. “For us Ukrainians, seeing and hearing him live is a blessing."

In his country, a silent war is being waged. “But as suddenly as it started, it could also end,” he explained. “I shall pray for this during the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament."

At present, the Campus seems a party, with music and lots of joyful water balloons. However, when the pontiff comes and crosses the Holy Door, everything will turn towards reflection.

In fact, five stories will be met by Francis’s answers, a speech and finally the adoration. Those who will speak include a young man from Aleppo, Syria, and a former addict.

A group of Syrians already at the Campus remember "with great gratitude" the words Francis uttered yesterday. “Let us hope that the world will listen," they say.

Kim Hoo-sun comes from a town south of Seoul, and looks forward to "the opportunity of worshiping the Lord together with the pope and two million brothers and sisters from around the world."

The young Korean has just been baptised, and his path to conversion began when he saw by chance the Eucharistic adoration.

"I was having dinner with a friend five years ago,” he said. “When we finished we left the restaurant. In front there was a church, and a pretty girl on the stairs on her way in. We too entered to speak to her, but we were impressive by the silence of the many faithful inside. It was an adoration, but we did not know it. Intrigued, we stopped to wait and ask the pretty girl about it. Eventually, an elderly lady, Lucia, explained everything to us. She became my godmother. "

This is why, "I think that the adoration is the beating heart of this World Youth Day. It changed my life; it can change the world, starting with our young people. We have a duty to listen to what Jesus wants from us."

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