Madrid Prelate Entrusts Cross to Youth Day Hosts

Cardinal Rouco Varela Explains Meaning of ’11 Event

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MADRID, Spain, SEPT. 9, 2009 ( The archbishop of Madrid is inviting youth to proclaim the message that no one should feel alone in suffering.

Cardinal Antonio Rouco Varela made this invitation in a letter addressed to youth to mark the arrival of the World Youth Day cross to Spain. Madrid is the host city for the next World Youth Day, to be held in August 2011.

Next Monday, feast of the triumph of the cross, the World Youth Day cross and icon of the Virgin begin their pilgrimage through the Diocese of Madrid.

«World Youth Days are an encounter with Christ, dead and risen for us,» the cardinal affirmed in his letter.

«This cross,» he said, «which was entrusted to youth together with the icon of the Virgin Mary, by the Servant of God John Paul II in 1984 to be carried throughout the world, is a beautiful sign of what World Youth Day means: the encounter with Christ, dead and risen for us, the redeemer of man.»

«Carrying the cross on their shoulders,» Cardinal Rouco Varela continued, «youth bear the joyful message of salvation and proclaim to all the corners of the world that Christ has saved us from sin and death.»

The archbishop of Madrid called the cross the «great sign of the love of God, which shows his pardon and reconciliation for all people.»

He added: «Actually, the Crucified One is the Exalted One, he who has been gloriously raised up — the cross is glorious — as the victor over sin and death.

«Because of this the Church has sang and continues to sing of the cross as the sign of victory and triumph. The love of Christ is victorious over all of man’s hatred, rancor, revenge and crime. His is a love that heals, liberates, purifies, rescues and brings peace. It is an eternal and infallible love. It is a human and divine love, capable of raising us to him, on the heights of glory.»

Cardinal Rouco Varela invited the youth to proclaim «with words and small gestures that Christ has carried all the crosses of the world and has illumined them with his own surrender unto death,» with the desire that «no one feels alone in suffering if he knows to look to the Crucified One.»

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