Our Australian Maronite pilgrims departed for World Youth Day on 21 July, first flying to Tel Aviv and the Holy Land before heading to Lisbon, Portugal.
His Excellency Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay left a message for the pilgrims, saying,
“I want to extend my blessings to each one of you embarking on this sacred journey. I pray this World Youth Day in Lisbon will be a profound and spiritually enriching experience for all of you.
With pilgrims gathering from every corner of the world, you represent the unity and diversity of our global Catholic community but specifically your Maronite spirituality and heritage. Your presence in Lisbon, the Holy Land and for some of you Lebanon, brings together hearts and spirits seeking to strengthen their faith, live the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and share in His mission in the world today.
Remember, you carry the hopes and dreams of your families, parishes, and communities with you. May your pilgrimage be filled with the Holy Spirit as you pray, reflect and share meaningful experiences with fellow pilgrims. May it be filled with moments of grace and revelation.
I pray that God’s grace be upon you, guiding each step you take, and may the light of His love shine on your faces and in your hearts. With the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary, I also pray for your safety, asking you return home safe and sound, carrying with you a renewed spirit to share with the rest of us upon your return.”
We pray for our youth as they undertake this journey, echoing the words of our Bishop, and we wish them a safe trip and a safe journey home.