On the 4th of November we had the good fortune to welcome the Youth Cross to our school in Madrid, which has spent a whole school day with us. It has been a fantastic experience for all our students at the school as they have had the opportunity to welcome, accompany and honour the Pilgrim Cross on this day. Therefore, the Santa Francisca Javier Cabrini School in Madrid prepared to receive her as the occasion deserved.

Many of our students did not have the opportunity to experience first-hand the different World Youth Days in recent years, but they were able to see and hear the testimony of the welcome that their school gave in 2011, welcoming many young people from different world delegations to the WYD of that year, giving meaning to the true meaning of the Youth Cross that Pope John Paul II gave to all the young people of the world in 1984, accompanied by these words:

“Dear young people, as we close the Holy Year, I entrust to you the sign of this Jubilee Year: the Cross of Christ! Carry it throughout the world as a sign of the love of the Lord Jesus for humanity and proclaim to all that only in the dead and risen Christ is there salvation and redemption”.

The young people have since fulfilled the Holy Father’s wish, carrying the Cross to every corner of the world. Today, our students have joyfully embraced the Cross of Christ and made it their own. They were no longer watching a video of what other young people had done years before. Today they were the ones who carried on their shoulders the hope that has become a promise. The triumph of life over death. The triumph of God’s love.

Before the Cross, our young people wanted to prostrate all the difficulties that we have experienced in recent years: illness, death, loneliness, suffering. But also all those that have made them renew their faith: hope, solidarity, self-giving, forgiveness, service and love, above all Love. They have placed all this before the Cross as an offering that represents what they are and what they want to be, a living testimony of God’s Love. At the foot of the Cross they placed their most beloved objects, as a symbol of their personal dedication, placing themselves in the hands of Jesus, allowing themselves to be accompanied by Him and asking Him to help them to know how to carry their own cross with hope and with their eyes always fixed on God.

This is the Cross of Christ who conquered death, the immense Love of the Father who gave us his Son, the efforts to get up after every fall, the strength and impetus of the young Church that remains firm in faith. Today, here and now, looking at the Cross, let us feel wanted and loved by Jesus. He is our Friend, the one who gave his life for us. Today as his young man and friend he asks us to “Pick up his Cross and follow him”, to be courageous, no matter “what they say”.

Mary, his mother, travels with the Pilgrim Cross. She who accompanied Jesus until the last breath of his life. And we, to live this very special day, wanted to feel accompanied by our families, parents, brothers and sisters, educators and friends of this great Cabrinian family of which we are all a part, in this beautiful mission of raising the Cross of Christ and following Him. All together, as a family, we have looked at the Cross in silence and tried to listen to what each one of us is asking of it.

After the two moments of the celebration, the meeting with the Cross in the school and the subsequent procession of the whole educational community, we returned to the classrooms, still with the sound of the drums resounding in our hearts, and with the image in our minds of how the Cross was carried on the shoulders of our young students. With a firm step they went in procession to the Hermitage, where it would be handed over to the young people of the Parish of Santa Paula, happy to have lived this unforgettable experience and with the firm conviction that each one of us has a mission in life and helped by those who love us most we walk with Him to achieve it.

As an educational centre we wanted to go beyond a purely academic formation, making it clear that this formation is based on the Education of the Heart, as Mother Cabrini proposed to us more than a hundred years ago, making us sensitive and attentive to the socio-cultural situation of our environment, the situation of the world, of society and of the Church.

Through the education of the person and by appealing to the conscience of our young people, we wanted to bring about a change of mentality that would promote a culture of welcome and solidarity in them. In a society where materialism is becoming more and more prevalent and the loss of Christian values is a reality, we want to reaffirm our faith, relying on the symbol of the Cross.

This has been a day of celebration for the whole educational community in which we have joined in the commitment of the young people who carry the Cross in procession throughout the world, supporting them on their journey, accompanying their steps, which today have sounded more firm than ever. Today we have been a family, so that they feel they are not alone. In each of the steps they have taken, we have all been there, helping them to grow.

May we all be One! (John 17:20-26)

Management Team

St. Francis Xavier Cabrini School. Madrid

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