• Pope Francis in Poland, Visit to the Shrine of Divine Mercy

​From the Holy Land, Assisi and Montecassino - Olive branches for World Youth Day in Krakow

2016-03-16 L’Osservatore Romano

Olive branches from the Holy Land, Montecassino and Assisi will be blessed by the Pope on Palm Sunday and will be sent on to Krakow, where they will be given by the youth to civil and ecclesiastical authorities involved in organizing WYD 2016.

The initiative, sponsored by several Polish youth volunteers in cooperation with the planning committee for World Youth Day, was inspired by a phrased used by the Pontiff in the Bull of Indiction for the Jubilee: “Mercy is the force that reawakens us to new life and instils in us the courage to look to the future with hope” (Misericordiae Vultus, 10).

The organizers, who are currently in Italy, explained that it is about fostering an authentic spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation. These are the foundation of mercy and instil peace in the heart. The purpose of the olive branch is to symbolize the truth of mercy which cannot exist without forgiveness and reconciliation. The youth volunteers want to emphasize that in order to deserve the title “merciful”, everyone must overcome all divisions. The olive branches will be delivered to representative of civil and ecclesiastical institutions and to citizens of Krakow, inviting them to forgiveness, to reconciliation and cooperation, in order to be worthy of experiencing the Holy of Mercy and to give the best possible welcome to participants in WYD.