The World Youth Day Cross, an initiative of Pope John Paul II, which is now on tour in Ecuador, was recently in our Province of Manabi. On December 18th, we received it in Chone. We had our first encounter with it at the local University “Eloy Alfaro.” We were allowed to use the university auditorium and there, we hoisted the Cross which would preside the event held with students from the university and from “Santa Mariana de Jesus” School, who had the cross at their school in the morning hours, prior to its arrival at the university, at 4pm.
The activity began with music and singing performed by the youth volunteers, who were leading the celebration. Later, we heard the testimonies of several people who encouraged the youth not to be afraid of Christ.
We bade farewell to the Cross that day, as it was scheduled to spend the evening in a nearby town. But, we were able to see it again the next day, at the Parish of “San Cayetano.” There, it arrived at 7pm and a prayer vigil was organized, along with turns of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament during the entire night. The youth who wanted to participate in these moments of grace were allowed to sleep in the Parish Hall. The next day, after the Mass at 8:30am, we held a procession with the Cross, walking to the nearby Parish of “Santa Maria Bernarda.” We also had a van with us, where we installed speakers, so we could sing and exclaim our praises to the Lord.