My Pictures of World Youth Day 3

World Youth Day at Marienfeld, outside Cologne

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Approaching Marienfeld (mostly appropriately named: Marian field). Note how large it is, the dome above the altar mound. The large crane on the left was one of two on either side of the field which suspended a camera between them that moved back and forth over the crowd.
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The Lincoln diocese pilgrims as we approach Marienfeld. In 1150 a Cistercian convent was founded on this site, later taken over by Cistercian monks. About 500 years ago the monastery became a focus destination of Pilgrimages to Our Lady.
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Around 1950 the church and remains of the monastery made way to an open-cast coal mine, creating the large field on which we set up camp. There are about one hundred blocks of grass laid out, which together measure 92 football fields.
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The mound on which the altar sets was constructed with dirt from countries around the world (80,000 square meters would fill 1/5 of the Cologne Dome.
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The Eucharistic Adoration "Tent". The only problem is that its way too small, as one might imagine. Note the wooden drawers behind the altar, each drawer holding dozens of ciboriums for the distribution of communion tomorrow.
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Eric Smits, Fr. Coulter, and Josh McGinley, sporting our diocesan T-shirts and WYD badges. Note the celebrity EWTN commentator, Fr. Mitchell behind Eric on the left.
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We join hundreds of thousands in awaiting the Holy Father's arrival for the evening vigil prayer service.
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The Vigil consisted of two parts, first vespers, the evening prayer of the Church; and second eucharistic adoration, with a procession of the Blessed Sacrament. The world's first public Corpus Christi procession was held in Cologne in 1246.
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Pope Benedict XVI arrives. We have reached the goal of our pilgrimage. But as he said at the vigil, at this point a new journey begins, an inner pilgrimage.
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We not only pay homage and worship externally, but assimilate what this means - we not only give external offerings, we must learn to give ourselves to the true King, Jesus Christ.
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As part of the vigil, 400,000 candles were passed out to the pilgrims (along with our meals!). The light reminds us of the star of Bethlehem, and is to remind us of Christ who is the light of the world, who wishes to illuminate your lives and your hearts.

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