MADRID City, August 19, 2011?Pope Benedict XVI has arrived at Barajas Airport in Madrid, Spain at 12 noon August 18, for the celebration of the 26th World Youth Day.
His holiness was welcomed by dignitaries and officials of Spain,and the Papal Nuncio together with visiting bishops from all over the world.
After the welcoming ceremony at the airport, the Holy Father was transported via the Pope mobile to the Papal Nunciature, the house of the Pope here in Spain.
Almost four hundred thousand young delegates from all over the world waited for the pope’s arrival and greetings.
At 7:30 pm Madrid time (1:30 am Manila time), the Pope went to see the massive crowd of youth gathered at the Plaza de Cibeles and gave his greetings. Pinoy delegates were also present during his greetings at the said plaza.
Some delegates had the chance to see the Pope up close when he was going to Plaza de Cibeles and back to the Nunciature.
An experience to treasure
The Abuel sisters from Antipolo diocese were ecstatic to see the pope up close saying it was a dream come true for both of them.
“It is like a dream, but it has my dream for many years. Then I saw his face… then I saw his eyes and my heart became so peaceful. I did not expect to see him that close,” Roxanne, one of the two said.
She also wanted to thank God for giving her the opportunity to see the vicar of Christ.
Roxanne Abuel’s sister Regine said that she felt weak when she saw the Pope.
“Right after he passed, I felt weak but I don’t know the reason, basta there was a strange feeling in my knees and I wanted to cry. There was something in him that I really don’t know but I think it was his charisma or his presence talaga which I can’t explain totally,” Regine said.
She also shared that when the Pope passed by, she was able to get a video of him and it felt different for her.
“I could have had a shot of him but I had a video. When he passed by, he waved at us. It just I’m hitting two birds in one stone, that is I’m in Spain and I saw the Holy Father. I am blessed and happy for this experience,” she added.
Other delegates like Prodjie Organo and Diyon Garcia also shared their experience with their encounter with the Pope.
Prodjie Organo had mixed feelings when she saw the Pope three meters away from where she was standing.
“After nung makita namin siya, aalis na dapat kami tapos sinabi na babalik daw siya. Nung dumaan na siya, naiiyak ako noon ng sobra, ganon pala yun feeling kakaiba na ‘di ko maexplain kung paano,” Organo said.
She also added that her experience made her cry because it was her first time to attend a WYD celebration and she was blessed to see the Pope.
Dion Garcia shared that when the Pope passed by, they were beside the road where there were no people standing by.
“Napadpad kami sa isang maayos na lugar na kitang kita namin si Pope tapos nagbless siya samin. Masaya yun naging experience ko na ‘di ko ineexpect makita si Pope ng malapitan,” Garcia said.
Pope Benedict will preside an overnight vigil with the youth on August 20 at Cuatro Vientos Aerodrome and culminate the WYD celebrations with an outdoor Mass on August 21. (Jandel Posion)