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The WYD Cross is already in Cologne

 

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In a few days the young people will arrive

26/07/2005: Germany

The World Youth Days Cross arrived in Cologne accompanied by a great number of young people on the 19th March 2005.
The welcoming celebration was followed by a pilgrimage to the Cathedral and by the celebration of the exaltation of the Cross on the Place Roncalli in front of the Cathedral. Hundred of lights were placed at the foot of the Cross, before which passed more than 3,000 people of all ages, each one placing their own light with the others. For Father Ulrich Henne, in charge of the Diocesan Youth Ministry and secretary of the World Youth Days, a dream had just been realised: “During the last two years, I was able to be a witness to so many journeys of this Cross throughout Europe and Germany. I saw how many people were attracted by this Cross, prayed before it, deeply touched. Now the Cross has reached this spot where the next World Youth Days will take place.” And Hennes concluded: “May hands touch this Cross! May prayers and intentions, may it hear the supplications and concerns be heard by it, may it see sufferings and tears!” A procession in the ancient city of Cologne accompanied the Cross for the nocturnal vigil in the church of Saint Martin. The prayer vigil lasted until morning and showed that now the spirit of the World Youth Days has indeed arrived in Cologne.

On Palm Sunday, the Cross was transported to the church that is the place of the tomb of Adolph Kolping, one of the patrons of the World Youth Days. The archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Joachim Meisner, recalled in his homily the symbolic acts accomplished by the many representatives of numerous countries who had brought a bit of soil from their own country to the place where the ceremony of closing of the World Days of Youth will take place. “Here, we place our feet on the shoulders of others. We know they will accompany us because they have added their own land to ours,” declared Cardinal Meisner. “When in August, we will celebrate the great feast of faith in our city of Cologne, we will do so with the same land under our feet and with the same sky above our heads. The World Youth Days’ Cross and the icon of Mary have already arrived in Cologne after a long journey throughout Europe and Germany. Cologne is the city of the Magi and so must be and remain the city of God. During these days, the sky above Cologne must open so that the star that guides young people to Christ becomes visible.”

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