Nigerian WYD Volunteers Happily Represent Their Nation

Today, August 1st, 2023, marked the grand opening mass for the 2023 World Youth Day in Lisbon. This six-day event is expected to bring together over 400000 young Catholics worldwide under the theme “Mary arose and went with haste” (Lk 1, 39) for the 38th World Youth Day. The Church sees this as an opportunity to reaffirm its belief in young people and transmit the faith to them, with 13 saints accompanying the attendees on a journey with Mary towards the truth.
For this reason, the Pope emphasised in his homily on the feast of Saint Hannah that those travelling to Lisbon should visit the elderly members of their communities before going to Lisbon.
“To you, said the Pope, the young who are preparing to meet in Lisbon or to celebrate World Youth Day in your own countries, I would ask: before you set out on your journey, visit your grandparents or an elderly person who lives alone! Their prayers will protect you, and you will carry in your heart the blessing of that encounter”. 
Furthermore, the Pope encouraged the youth to visit the elders in their communities and reminded the elders to pray for young people on their journey of faith. Indeed, his homily reflects Saint John Paul II’s trust in the youth, as seen in his letter Dilecti Amici to the youth during the U.N.’s International Year of the Youth. In that letter, Saint John Paul II acknowledged that young people are the embodiment of youth and are essential to nations, societies, families, and the Church. 
It is on this perspective that Nigerian youth distinguish themselves. Some volunteers from Africa’s most populous nation have made the news for their service to fellow youths. They were spotted in various locations after arriving early.
A few Nigerian Bishops are also present to accompany these vibrant members of the Church. They share their experiences through their social media handle, permitting their fans to see through their eyes and to hear through their ears what the Lord is doing in the Capital of Portugal. 
Moreover, some Nigerian delegations have also been sighted proudly hoisting their flags and singing in different Nigerian languages. The truth, however, is that, with their population, the number seen so far leaves space for many questions regarding their full participation in this 38th World Youth Day. 

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