Aide: Pope Wanted to Stay at Rain-Drenched Vigil

Father Lombardi Confirms Benedict XVI’s Enthusiasm

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MADRID, Spain, AUG. 21, 2011 ( Benedict XVI decided to remain at the vigil at Cuatro Vientos this Saturday despite the sudden cloudburst that prevented him from giving the speech that he had prepared.

This was reported today by Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, in comments to Vatican Radio.

The Pope was “struck” by the young people’s enthusiasm, he explained.

Even if the vigil had not been able to follow the program that had been planned, the Jesuit priest observed that it provided an occasion to give “a further message, because the way of dealing with this difficulty demonstrated enthusiasm, decision, the desire of the young people present to continue – without losing the least courage — their celebration of faith.”

The Pope, Father Lombardi added, “was absolutely one with them in being absolutely decided to continue, to be present.”

“During the storm he was asked twice whether he thought that he should leave and instead said: ‘No, I am staying. We are staying.'”

It was evident that Benedict XVI was “very struck by this enthusiasm and this participation by the young people.”

For the Vatican spokesman, one of the most intense moments was during eucharistic adoration: “Yesterday evening — with the storm that naturally brought a little confusion in some moments — it was perhaps hard to expect recollection and such complete participation and so quickly in the moment of the prayer of adoration.”

“It seemed to me, instead,” Father Lombardi said, “that this was one of the most extraordinary aspects of yesterday evening’s vigil.”

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