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A golden chance, an unforgettable moment, a lifetime celebration…………



6th Asian Youth Day at South Korea, I lived my dream. It was a blend of culture and traditions, mix of many languages and dialects, fusion of thousand dreams and aspirations, where youth from all over Asia were united under one name “Asian Youth”. It was a unique experience as we travelled along the path where the martyrs were persecuted. The faith handed over to us by the martyrs is a priceless possession, which each one of us should carry in our hearts. 




The most inspiring moment in AYD 6 was the presence of Holy Father Pope Francis, who walked amidst the 2000 AYD delegates and 4000 KYD (Korean Youth Day) delegates, greeting and blessing them on 15th august. It was the first time in the AYD history that pope came for Asian Youth Day. Holy Father presided over the closing Holy Mass on 17thAugust which was attended by approx. 10,000 youth and faithful of South Korea.






AYD 6 was a memorable and unique experience for me as I got the opportunity to represent our country and have lunch with our dear Holy Father. It was an unforgettable moment which I will cherish for the rest of my life and it was August 15, our Independence Day.  We were 18 young people selected from 18 countries who participated in 6th AYD. The lunch was organized in the major seminary of South Korea at Daejeon. Due to security reason we were called to the venue at 10am in the morning.


As we arrived at the venue the rector of the seminary welcomed us and he gave the details of Holy Father’s programs. He mentioned due to bad weather pope could not travel in the Helicopter, now he is on the way by car, so he got delayed and he is very tired, he also stated there are three banquet halls, one for Priests and Religious, second one for Bishops and Cardinals and third one for you selected young people and it made us gloomy thinking Holy Father may not spend much time with us. It made us yet more melancholy, when pope delayed by 75 minutes. 


The lunch was supposed to be at 12.30 pm but pope arrived at 01.45 pm to the seminary. As he arrived he directly came to dining hall where we 18 were seated. Wow….. It was the most blessed moment of life, to touch him, to see him in front of our eyes walking, talking, to sing with him and even to dance. For one could not believe it, but it’s true. Holy Father was not drowsy, he was not strained to meet us, and instead he cut short his siesta time andspent almost 90 minutes with us around the table, even though he had to join all 6000 delegates in the welcoming ceremony at 4pm. We sang three times the AYD theme song as he made us to sing and he too joined his voice with us.We had sumptuous lunch with Holy Father,which was prepared by 11 religious in a time span of 2 months. 


The time to present the gifts:

We, the 18 of us carried gifts for Holy Father. When the turn came one by one we presented it, I too carried our National Flag and a hand crafted silver plate which conceded the portrait of ‘Taj Mahal’ (Symbol of love). When my turn came I handed it over to him and asked to pray for my country (since it was Independence Day) and to bless me and all the people in my Life. It was a divine touch when he smilingly ‘kept his hand on my head and made sign of Cross on my forehead’, for a moment my eyes were filled with tears.  






The Divine 90 minutes with Holy Father came to an end with the group photo and with a group Embrace. It was the day, a moment…………. I WILL CHERISH FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.









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