World Youth Day Cross Pauses at Franciscan Gathering

SAMOBOR, Croatia, AUG. 19, 2003 ( In its pilgrimage around Europe in preparation for World Youth Day 2005, the event’s famous cross arrived in Samobor near Zagreb, on the occasion of the 3rd European Congress of Franciscan Youth.

The presence of the World Youth Day cross at the meeting, which is being held in Croatia and Slovenia and will end Saturday, is to foster prayer among young people, explained Friar Ivan Matic, assistant general of the Secular Franciscan Order.

“Young people have been recollected in prayer before the WYD cross, following the teaching of St. Francis of Assisi in contemplation before the crucifix of San Damiano,” he said Monday.

The cross will continue its pilgrimage later through the dioceses of Croatia and Bosnia, in preparation for World Youth Day 2005.