Called to World Youth Day: 5 testimonials of discovery & faith (VIDEO)

Our exclusive video follows five young men and women on an extraordinary journey.

In July, Pope Francis called for the world’s youth to join him in Krakow, Poland, for a pilgrimage based on the theme, “Blessed are the merciful for they will receive mercy.” And when Francis calls, the youth reply—by the millions. It’s estimated that 3 million young men and women worldwide participated in World Youth Day 2016: a journey of discovery about themselves, their faith, peers from around the world, their role in society, and the inspirational message of “Papa Francesco.”

In this exclusive For Her video, producer Maciej Chłopicki gathered testimonials from five of the 200 participants who joined the pilgrimage as part of the Eucharistein community, led by its charismatic founder, Father Nicolas Buttet. Over the course of one week, the five French speaking middle- and high-school students provide candid accounts of their spiritual journey—from their arrival at the Cistercian Abbey in Austria to the climax of the pilgrimage: partaking in a Mass with Pope Francis.

The pilgrimage was a trip back in time; the students learned about the dramatic history of this part of Europe and met with survivors of the Communist era. They visited religious shrines, monasteries, and important places of Christian life. Above all, they took a spiritual journey into the depths of themselves and discovered prayer and faith in a new way.

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Father Buttet was once the youngest member of the Swiss parliament, but he gave up a promising career (that included a role as a lawyer for the Holy See) to become a hermit. Youngsters soon gathered around him, asking him to accompany them on their spiritual path. Buttet had found his calling and created the Eucharistein community, eventually being ordained to the priesthood.

On the road to Krakow, the teens were full of questions and sometimes doubts, but most of all enthusiasm. In his role as spiritual guide, Buttet asked the group to open themselves up to experiencing God.

Looking to the past, with memories of a moving visit to Auschwitz, and to the future, with Pope Francis calling on the youth to “build bridges not walls,” we realize how essential it is for the youth to take up this message and to continue on their path to finding mercy, and above all bringing hope.

Maciej Chlopicki
Maciej Chlopicki
Maciej is a director, journalist, producer, executive producer of many programs including documentaries, educational and even advertising films. He has worked for different television channels PolishTVP1, TVP2, TVN, austrian ORF, French-German ARTE among others. He takes a special interest in history, science and culture. He lives in Cracow, Poland with his wife and three children.

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