In meditation a Christian seeks silence so as to experience intimacy with God and to find peace in his presence. He hopes for the sensible experience of his presence, which is an undeserved gift of grace; he does not expect it, however, as the product of a particular technique of meditation. YOUCAT 504

We are so excited to bring all of your prayer requests and good wishes with us as we spend our first few days on our World Youth Day Pilgrimage. The Pope is expected to arrive in Panama on Thursday and spend the evenings with the youth each evening until the final Mass on Sunday!

Panama is beautiful and is the southernmost country in Central America; its common language is Spanish. Panama’s Patron Saint is Santa María La Antigua. The Blessed Mother is the patron saint because  when the Muslims invaded Spain in the 8th century the people prayed to Mary for protection. Unfortunately, their prayers went unheeded because in the city of Seville , the invaders destroyed the church and turned it into a mosque. Legend says that the 13th Century, King Ferdinand III of Castille prayed to the Blessed Mother for help in regaining Seville. After successfully capturing the city, he discovered a carefully hidden image of Mary inside the mosque.

St. Ferdinand then dedicated Seville to Santa Maria La Antigua or St. Mary the Ancient. Spanish explorers, such as Christopher Columbus, are said to have a great devotion to Santa Maria la Antigua as well. In 1510, explorers Martin Fernandez de Enciso and Vasco Nunez de Balboa landed on what was to become Panama. They founded a city there, naming it after Santa Maria la Antigua in thanksgiving for their safe arrival .

In 1999 Santa Maria la Antigua was named patroness of the Republic of Panama. She is commemorated on the Third Sunday of January, which this year lands on January 20th, TODAY ! WOW Just two days before the 2019 World Youth Day Week officially begins! Do you think our Pope Francis had this in mind when he named Panama as the site for the 2019 World Youth Day?

Please be assured of our prayers!