- Dec 11, 2019
The joyous harmony of people coming together from so many different nations for World Youth Day stands in sharp contrast to today’s “sad” situation of confrontational nationalist feelings, Pope Francis said.
Just before leaving the physical and human warmth of Panama Jan. 27, Pope Francis stopped to thank the thousands of official volunteers, young and old, gathered at the capital city’s Rommel Fernandez Stadium to tell them that they had just participated in an event similar to one that took place early in Christianity.
While hundreds of vendors sold water to the thirsty, the Muslim community at the oldest mosque in Panama City gave it away for free near a banner that said, “Welcome Pilgrim Friends.”
The Good Samaritan home, a Roman Catholic-run shelter that has housed dozens of HIV and AIDS patients since it opened its doors outside Panama City in 2005, is readying for a high-profile visit Sunday by Pope Francis.
One thing is clear about World Youth Day 2019: This one is not focused on convening great masses of people, or the most influential or the loudest. Instead of highlighting the problems faced by youth in the world’s richest or most populous countries, one of its first events focused on the plight of populations most of the world rarely sees or comes across: the indigenous.
Pope Francis has arrived in Panama amid a political crisis in nearby Venezuela, a migration standoff over the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall and tens of thousands of wildly excited young Central Americans welcoming him.