Today the Church celebrates Pope John Paul II, the Pope of many things but more special to me as the Pope of the Youth. Thank you Pope John Paul II for initiating the World Youth Day.

Thanks to the great benevolence of my Archbishop, Most. Rev Ignatius Kaigama, I was privileged to participate in two World Youth Day events; Brazil 2013 and Poland 2016.

The World Youth Day has given me the best spiritual experience in my life so far. In Brazil I felt the presence of God so strong that it felt like Heaven. Celebrating the faith with millions of other young people and hearing Pope Francis say, “Jesus is counting on you”, ” The Church is counting on you “, made an everlasting mark on me. That moment on the Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro ushered me into a missionary phase of my life. I left Brazil with a strong drive to do something, however little for the Lord and His Church.

Three years later, I returned to the World Youth Day not just to attend but to serve. I was an international volunteer with 19,000 others. It was fulfilling to spend my time and gifts for the Lord.

Today, I am in another Country, a missionary indeed, working at the heart of the Church to help persecuted Christians around the world.

My life has been shaped by these encounters and I owe it all to the Lord who used His Servant Pope John Paul II to begin such a life changing event for young people.

Thank you Pope John Paul II.

Grace Attu

Communications Officer

ACN Malta