Starting off from the last post, the Saturday night consisted of a vigil and Adoration. The Pope spoke to us for some time and delivered an insightful and humorous talk e.g. – ‘ The times we live in do not call for young “couch potatoes”, but for young people with shoes, or better, boots laced.  The times we live in require only active players on the field, and there is no room for those who sit on the bench.’

I encourage everyone to read it at http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2016/july/documents/papa-francesco_20160730_polonia-veglia-giovani.html

This morning we gathered for Mass with the Pope with a reported 2.5 million people. Pope Francis’s homily continued the theme of yesterday’s talk reminding us that life is not meant to be lived in a box.

The heat today was oppressive, and a LOT of people were being treated for heat exhaustion(even one from our group). It was more than I even remember in Madrid.

At the end of Mass, Pope Francis announced that the next World Youth Day would be held in Panama.

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A lot of people were doing swaps and we were continually asked by the French and Italians if they could have our Australian flag. We declined.

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Once Mass finished we decided to wait until the crowd died down before leaving. A nearby Scottish group were leaving their tents there so let us take over the sight. Pope Francis may wish to re-read ‘Laudate si’ before the next World Youth Day because it created a lot of waste and people leaving stuff there(like tents).

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So we decided to take over the Scottish tents as we could see rain coming, however we were hit with a windy thunderstorm. The tents held up well.

We decided to head off once it cleared but ran into the storm again 30 mins into the walk home. Everyone were already wearing aches and bruises from the 15km walk the previous day so the heavy wet shoes didn’t help, but it did cool us down.

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We eventually got back to the uni after 5pm(Mass finished around 12pm) where we felt a sense of accomplishment with ‘weathering the storm’. It tied in well with Pope Francis’s message over the weekend that we were not made to be comfortable, we were made for greatness.

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