Pope Francis meets with young Polish pilgrims
By Paweł Kowalski, SJ and Tomasz Matyka, SJ
Around 150 Polish pilgrims met with Pope Francis on Monday morning, along with several families.
The pilgrims arrived in Rome on 15 July to take part in a retreat held by the Light and Life (ΦΩΣ ΖΩΗ) community, better known as the "Oasis of the Living Church," Poland's largest Church movement.
The retreat was led by Cardinal-elect Grzegorz Ryś, the Archbishop of Łódź.
The teens and families have followed a path of Christian formation in their own parishes throughout the year.
Their pilgrimage to Rome represents a more intensive retreat period, which usually brings together people from different parts of Poland.
The community was founded by Father Franciszek Blachnicki, who was killed in 1987 by communist security services.
Prayer and searching
The pilgrimage to Rome and the meeting with the Pope are the most important stages of a three-level retreat for young people and families.
Participants are invited to experience the mystery of the Church in its diversity, while seeking out their path in the community of the faithful.
Retreatants learn about various forms and traditions of prayer, participate in fraternal gatherings, and discover the depth of Christian history and the present of the Church by visiting different sanctuaries.