ASIA/INDIA - More than a thousand young Indians at WYD in Lisbon, also bearing the suffering of Manipur

Friday, 21 July 2023 youth   world youth day  

New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) - More than a thousand young Indians are preparing to leave for Lisbon to experience World Youth Day (WYD). The Indian delegation for the ecclesial gathering, which will be held from August 1 to 6, will be made up of about 900 young people and animators, more than 200 officials, priests, bishops and guides. It should be noted that these young people will be joined by those who take part in trips organized by ecclesial movements such as "Jesus Youth" and other religious congregations. The Lisbon meeting was originally scheduled for 2022, but was postponed to August 2023 due to the pandemic. The Gospel passage chosen for the event is "Mary got up and left in haste" (Lk 1:39), taken from the story of Mary's visit to her cousin Elizabeth. As the Youth Commission of the Episcopal Conference of India notes, "the act of getting up presents Mary as a woman of charity and as a missionary woman. Leaving in haste represents the attitude indicated by Pope Francis for WYD: they will thus recognize and bear witness to the presence of the living Christ. The Pope urges young people to become courageous missionaries". Young Indians remember Asian Youth Days when the Pope encouraged them to "wake up" and "be vigilant". Taking advantage of this appeal, young Indians will bring to WYD their care and concern for their peers in Manipur, an Indian state where inter-ethnic violence has been taking place for two months. Among various youth initiatives organized in recent days, more than 50,000 students from about 120 Catholic educational institutions in the Indian state of Meghalaya held prayer meetings for peace in Manipur. School and college students took part in a special day of solidarity with the people of Manipur, taking part in a procession and prayer vigil with lit candles, forming a human chain and reading appeals for peace in the different languages of India. The participation of young Indians in WYD will be an opportunity to pray for an end to the unrest and the restoration of peace in this state in northeastern India, by sharing the prayer with other young people from all over the world. Young people call for an end to violence in Manipur against innocent people, their property and their places of worship. "We feel called to work for peace, reconciliation and brotherhood in our India", they say, "we wish to be builders of peace, harmony and unity". This aspiration is also shared by young people from other faiths and religious communities. We bring with us to Lisbon the strength of unity and compassion for those who suffer and a deep desire for peace", they say "to promote empathy, understanding and shared responsibility among the younger generations from all over the world". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 21/7/2023)