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World Youth Day: Celebrating Young Faith View Comments
By Edited by Christopher Heffron

IN AUGUST OF 2010, Pope Benedict XVI gave this hope-filled message to young Catholics about their participation in World Youth Day (WYD) in Madrid on August 16-21, 2011.

“The Church depends on you! She needs your lively faith, your creative charity and the energy of your hope. Your presence renews, rejuvenates and gives new energy to the Church. That is why World Youth Days are a grace, not only for you, but for the entire People of God.”

The following young Catholics are bringing that energy to 2011’s World Youth Day.

St. Anthony Messenger wanted to know what these young people did to prepare for the trip, what they hope to gain from it and how their faith will be deepened by their journey.

These are their stories.

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Christopher Heffron is the assistant editor of this publication. He wishes to express his gratitude to Mike Meyer, coordinator of youth and young adult ministry at St. Denis Parish in Versailles, Ohio, who helped to facilitate these reflections, as well as the young Catholics who participated in this article.

Thank you for your comments. Editors will review all posts before they are visible on the website.

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Exaltation of the Holy Cross: Early in the fourth century St. Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, went to Jerusalem in search of the holy places of Christ's life. She razed the second-century Temple of Aphrodite, which tradition held was built over the Savior's tomb, and her son built the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher over the tomb. During the excavation, workers found three crosses. Legend has it that the one on which Jesus died was identified when its touch healed a dying woman. 
<p>The cross immediately became an object of veneration. At a Good Friday celebration in Jerusalem toward the end of the fourth century, according to an eyewitness, the wood was taken out of its silver container and placed on a table together with the inscription Pilate ordered placed above Jesus' head: Then "all the people pass through one by one; all of them bow down, touching the cross and the inscription, first with their foreheads, then with their eyes; and, after kissing the cross, they move on." </p><p>To this day the Eastern Churches, Catholic and Orthodox alike, celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on the September anniversary of the basilica's dedication. The feast entered the Western calendar in the seventh century after Emperor Heraclius recovered the cross from the Persians, who had carried it off in 614, 15 years earlier. According to the story, the emperor intended to carry the cross back into Jerusalem himself, but was unable to move forward until he took off his imperial garb and became a barefoot pilgrim.</p> American Catholic Blog Just as sin came into the world through Eve’s no to God, salvation came into the world through Mary’s yes. She is “blessed” not just among women but among all of humanity. We see in Mary the perfect disciple, the perfect humility, the perfect obedience.

 
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