Tricolore, the French flag flutters in front of Saint Margaret’s Basilica in Nowy Sącz. It is a sign that the first french pilgrims have arrived in Nowy Sącz. They will take part in the Missionary Week, which starts on the 21st July. Unlike the rest of the pilgrims, the first group got to Poland by plane. The other groups will arrive in the evening. Despite being very tired, the French pilgrims were all in very good moods.
„The French are very happy to have come to Nowy Sącz” says Anna Gromada of the World Youth Day Office in Nowy Sącz. „They smile, although they have a very long journey behind them; I guess they must have woken up very early today”
There was no need to explain to French pilgrims where will they live for next few days, as the WYD symbols can be seen everywhere in Nowy Sącz. „I heard the first cry of enthusiasm when the coach was entering the town and our guests saw the castle and the flower clock with WYD symbols. Then, when we arrived at the town square, one could hear a loud <<wow!>> that came from the French youth” – adds Anna Gromada, who has been taking care of the pilgrims since the moment they landed in Kraków.
On Saint Margaret’s Basilica’s courtyard the French group was welcomed by priests of this parish. „The first impression is very positive, and, above all, our guests are satisfied” – says priest Dr Jerzy Jurkiewicz, rector of the parish and adds „One can finally feel the atmosphere of the Missionary Week and that’s the most important thing.”
Priest Jurkiewicz points out that the Polish families responded to the Church’s petition to take in French pilgrims very enthusiasticly. Asked about the reasons to agreeing on receiving 3 participators of the WYD in his home, Aleksander Twaróg is surprised and answers: „It’s something natural. I had already signed up for it during the Chrismas pastoral visit”. Janina Majewska and the rest of local residents who are having French pilgrims over for the Missionary Week, have similar attitude.
After their welcoming, the pilgrims will go to homes which they are staying in to have some rest after their journey. The first point in the Missionary Week’s schedule will be a catechesis in Saint Margaret’s Basilica tomorrow at 10 a.m.