In few words, my experience of WYD in Krakow made me understand the total meaning of the motto “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt 5:7), because I had everything to live a “peaceful” WYD: I already participated in another one (Rio 2013). I was alone, so I did not depend on a group. I communicated in English when needed (and in some other languages). I did not forget any necessary items to “survive”.. Then it was only to contemplate and understand!
But as the Lord renews everything, quickly I found myself responsible of a small clumsy group that have crossed the ocean without speaking a word of English, with almost no experience in a WYD and with several type of limitations, from the emotional ones, such as shame and fear, to the physical ones, as tiring easily and allergies. And the allergy was to pork, in a place where there was only pork meat...
I accepted that mission with a lot of joy and courage, despite some obstacles, and in the end, I certainly brought that group to an encounter with Christ. It was clear in a glance at each of them that the “objective” had been reached.
However, that experience had only made me understand half of the motto because I had been merciful, but had not yet received mercy... And that happened in the most unusual way. Suddenly I was the clumsy one! I went to the Vigil alone because the clumsy group preferred to go shopping and later proceed by car to the edge of Campus Fidelis with little battery left on my phone and with no money to return back to the place where I stayed which was really far away from the Campus. I did not get the snack-kit that they distributed on the road and after the Sunday closing Mass, a torrent of rain fell from the sky of Poland.. only a guardian angel - an expert of Krakow’s roads - could help me in that situation. And do you know what? They exist!
I was at the train station, I did not know where I was going, when suddenly a young person saw me, lost in the middle of the rain and decided to help me (despite the fact she was already with a small group of friends, who also seemed clumsy). She did not asked anything, she only wanted to know where I wanted to go and decided to help me. The first providence was to translate the signs of the train station in Polish for me, even if she did not know my destination, even if because of the rain the train didn't make those stops. If she had not helped me, maybe I would still be there now, waiting for a train that would never arrive (and that would get me nowhere).
And as the city was in chaos, we began a real odyssey in Krakow under a lot of rain that never gave us a break. It was already lunchtime, I was hungry and I needed to eat with the few Polish coins that I still had, but that was not enough to buy even the bone of a pork chop... But it was not a problem for her and her small group who quickly began to divide everything they had and share them with me until we were all full.
After long hours (more than three) several connection and challenges, we arrived to the place where I could take the bus to bring me to the place I stayed. I said goodbye to that amazing group and their “leader” (that possibly was an archangel for the greatest of her heart), sure that my WYD was not over because the event ended, but rather when I understood the motto completely.
Ah, angels do exist, but I cannot prove it because my phone still didn't have battery so I could not take a picture of them...