La Estrella de Panamá

15 de Oct de 2019

El Papa en Panamá

The Pope praised the solidarity of the event and says goodbye to Panama

The last event of the World Youth Day and Pope Francis visit to Panama was with the volunteers of the encounter

The Pope praised the solidarity of the event and says goodbye to Panama

After five days of participating in different activities of the Panama World Youth Day (WYD) 2019, Pope Francis said good by this Sunday afternoon to the Central American country with a ceremony celebrated at the Rommel Fernandez Stadium, dedicated to around 20,000 volunteers, 80 percent of them Panamanians.

Francis had a hectic agenda which included journeys to different points of the city, contacts with parishioners, outdoor massive encounters, a visit to a Juvenile Correction Center, a visit to a support home for people infected with HIV, private encounters with young people and government representatives. As the Vatican Head of State, the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela and the State ministers said farewell to the Pope in a sober ceremony at the Tocumen Airport, a few minutes before 18.00, local time.

The main activity of the Pope’s visit, took place on Sunday morning at the Metro Park area, an esplanade on the city outskirts that became the Saint John Paul II Field, which also served as a vigil site that lasted all night for thousands of young people from the 150 participating countries.

The Send Away Mass gathered more than half a million people, including pilgrims, Panamanian and foreign families who traveled to Panama with the only interest to see up close the Argentinian Pope, who led a WYD dedicated to Central America and which included most of the leaders of the region.

For this activity,  that gathered the most amount of people in the world, Panama City and the other towns in the interior rose to the occasion showing their best face.  Political differences,  garbage collection problems, insecurity and others troubles were left behind, allowing more than 100,000 pilgrims to get the best impression of the country, promising to return in the future.

The WYD became the activity the most amount of people gathered in one place and also allowed Panamanians to show their organizational skills as well as sharing their experiences with foreigners.

In this encounter was also confirmed a well known secret, that Portugal will be the seat of the next WYD that will take place in 2022.

During the papal visit, Francis asked the young people to become "influencers" and to take the Gospel everywhere, using the technology tools of the XXI century.

Among the phrases that marked the WYD are: "go and be influencers, as Mary did in her time"; "young people are not the future, they are the present and the now for God"; "Everything that is loved can be saved, everything that is embraced can be transformed” and "reiterated that young people have to make trouble, but with wisdom," among other quotes.

During a meeting with government authorities, Francis said that "authorities must realize that public service must be synonymous of service and antonym of corruption."

As head of the Vatican State he called for the problems in Venezuela to be resolved as soon as possible by peaceful means.