On the 26th August, 2012 the parish of the Church of Divine Mercy, Penang, welcomed two symbols of our faith that was currently being carried by Catholic Youth all around the Penang Diocese. Six youth of the parish carried five parts of a wooden cross and an icon of Our Lady up to the altar. They then assembled the cross and placed it and the icon beside the altar in full view of the congregation.
The cross was the symbol chosen at the end of the Holy Year of Redemption, in 1994 and entrusted to the youth to be carried out into the world. The Icon of Our Lady, ‘Salus Populi Romani’, is a copy of the sacred and ancient icon found in the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome. This icon was given to the youth by Blessed Pope John Paul II to accompany the world youth cross in 2003. Both these symbols were presented to the youth of the world not just to carry them for a few moments but in example of their daily lives. Thus, the Penang Diocese have adopted this concept where the cross and icon had been travelling all around the parishes in preparation for the PDYD2 which will be held from 16 – 19 November 2012.
The ceremony had begun at the end of the 9 am mass when a video clip was screened to introduce activities of the Penang Diocese Youth Day 2 (PDYD2). The PDYD2 theme song entitled Come People of the Risen King was sung during the assembly of the wooden cross on the altar. The celebrant, Fr. Martin Arlando then invited all youth to come forward for a prayer and special blessing.
As an added joy to the celebration, there was a presentation of a basket of fruits to Fr. Martin to celebrate the first year anniversary of his sacerdotal ordination.
Dr. Ivan Filmer
29th August, 2012