For the college Knights of Columbus, World Youth Day in Madrid will be an experience of service and growth.
During World Youth Day, they will be serving as volunteers at “Love and Life: A Home for English-speaking Pilgrims” sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and the Sisters of Life at Palacio de Deportes.
Prior to their week of service, twenty-four college Knights will participate in a pilgrimage to holy sites around Spain including Zaragoza, Manresa, Monistrol de Montserrat, Burgos and Caleruega.
“Each of these cities was chosen for a reason, to offer our pilgrims a historical and spiritual context for World Youth Day in Madrid” says Michael Brewer, Department of Membership Growth.
“In Zaragoza, college Knights will visit the Basilica-Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar. The apparition of Nuestra Señora del Pilar dates to the apostolate of St. James in the first century; and devotion to Our Lady of the Pillar also has special historical significance for Americans and the Knights of Columbus -- Christopher Columbus discovered the New World on her feast day (October 12, 1492).”
The Knights will also follow in the footsteps of St. Ignatius of Loyola. They will visit the Monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat where St. Ignatius of Loyola “offered his military uniform and equipment before the image of the Virgin of Montserrat” and Manresa where the Spiritual Exercises were composed. Additionally, they will visit Burgos, a “major crossroads on the Way of St. James” and Caleruega, the birthplace of St. Dominic.
This pilgrimage will prepare the Knights to administer to the thousands of pilgrims who will be visiting the Love and Life site during the week of World Youth Day.
“The first principle of the Knights of Columbus is charity, and these Knights will have the opportunity as volunteers to offer hospitality to pilgrims from the United States, Canada, Australia, Africa, the Philippines, and all around the world,” Brewer concludes.
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