[JMJ 97 - Le Cyberjournal]


THE 12th WYD ended with a big bang for pilgrims who were joined by a large number of other Christians. Saturday morning they had met to join hands around Paris, in a symbolic a "chain of fraternity" looking outwards towards the rest of the world, before gathering around the Pope at Longchamp racetrack. 10 young people from the 5 continents were baptized and confirmed by the Holy Father in the course of the evening prayer vigil.
For the Pontifical Mass the next morning, WYD took on a sudden burst of size: over a million people attended the Pope's sending-off Mass. "Dear young people, your journey does not end here. Time does not come to a halt. Go forth now along the roads of the world, along the pathways of humanity, while remaining ever united in Christ's Church!" And he renewed his appeal to build the "civilzaation of love." Then, just before he left the great outdoor cathedral, John Paul invited all the young to the next WYD: in Rome in the year 2000.  Arrivederci a Roma !