Marie and Andre Brunet of Winnipeg are in Italy for the VII meeting of families. They will be blogging from Milan throughout the week long event.
Day 1: Rome -
The pilgrimage has begun! Andre and I arrived in Italy a few days before the World Meeting of Families in order to spend a little extra time in this beautiful country. First stop, Rome, where we met up with some friends who have been traveling through Europe. We spent a part of this warm and sunny day revisiting St. Peter's Basilica and praying at Blessed John Paul II's tomb.
As we knelt down to pray, a group of pilgrims started singing "Ressucitó" ("He has risen") in the basilica. It was very moving and appropriate... He has indeed risen! As I mentioned before, Andre and my interest in the World Meeting of Families was peaked by the knowledge that Pope John Paul II had initiated this event. As we visited his resting place today, we asked for him to intercede for us, our family and our friends and we thanked him for having called families to come together to grow in faith.
Now, as we journey toward Milan, we look forward to what awaits us. Here's a bit of a preview of what will take place during the 7th World Meeting of Families:
May 30th to June 1st - We will attend conferences and meetings throughout the city of Milan, focusing on different topics related to the theme "Family: Work and Celebration". Some of the topics are: "Family and work today in the light of faith", ''The family and its need for spirituality: roles and experiences" and "Family and celebration in various countries around the world".
June 2nd - We will be heading to the Milano Parco Nord Bresso Airport along with what's estimated to be a crowd of 300,000 people for "The Feast of Testimonies": an afternoon of music, songs and testimonies given by families, culminating with the arrival in the evening of Pope Benedict XVI who will lead us in a prayer vigil.
The last day, June 3rd - Pope Benedict will say Mass outdoors at the same venue, where it is predicted there will be around one million people attending!
This is just an outline, but we look forward to sharing the details with you as they unfold!
Arrivederci e che il Signore sia con voi!
Marie and Andre Brunet