By Robin Gomes
Pope Francis on Saturday met a group of young sailors from Poland who arrived for the World Youth Day in Panama on a sailing ship. Before setting out from the Apostolic Nunciature in Panama City for the morning Mass at the city’s cathedral, the Holy Father met the delegation of the crew and youth of the sailing ship, “Dar Młodzieży”, or “Gift of Youth”.
They are 40 young Poles who are navigating around the world with WYD Panama as their final destination and to commemorate the centenary of the regaining of Polish independence. Accompanying the group was also the Polish Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation, Marek Gróbarczyk.
Pope Francis had addressed this group during his weekly General Audience of June 20, 2018, in the Vatican. "I cordially greet the Polish pilgrims and especially the representatives of the youth, who sail around the world on the vessel, "Dar Młodzieży", before reaching Panama, the place of WYD next January. ”
A similar enterprise was also undertaken last year by a group of young people from France. Seventeen Frenchmen and women, 4 skippers, and a chaplain left Notre-Dame de Rocamadour on the Gulf of Brest on August 31, after receiving a blessing from Bishop Marc Aillet of Bayonne on behalf of all French Bishops.