A couple of good friends and I felt it would be a great ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to experience World Youth Day in Madrid. Hearing that a religious order called the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE for short) was offering a World Youth Day pilgrimage travelling to Portugal, France, and Spain for a month, we eagerly signed up. During our stay, our group of about 300 which included youth, many sisters, brothers, and priests indeed lived the pilgrim life.
Being able to adapt to living in gyms, monasteries, and even a Spanish military base was tough at first, but being a high spirited group who spent the days singing and chanting, we were able to enjoy from start to end. The religious encouraged and expected us youth to live as “super pilgrims.” This role integrated the 3 pilgrim P’s: 1. to be prayerful, 2. to do penance (offering up any inconvenience we may experience and acting positively), and 3. participating throughout the whole pilgrimage.
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