Tens of thousands of young people from Europe and around the world, have arrived in Prague, by bus, train, plane or hitchhiking for a four-day Taizé gathering.
These young Orthodox, Catholics and Protestants come from 65 countries, including the UK, Poland, Ukraine, Germany, Italy, France, Croatia and Belarus.
Churches in the historic center of Prague will open their doors for midday prayer today Tuesday 30 and tomorrow, Wednesday 31 December. In each of them, there will be a Taizé cross painted specially in recent weeks by a team of artists directed by Matej Forman.
Five prayer places have set up at the Letňany Exhibition Centre for evening prayers from including a tent which had to be added because of the large number of participants registered.
Representatives of the Council of Czech Churches will participate in the prayer from January 1 at 7pm in the cathedral, broadcast live by Czech television. Today, evening prayer will be broadcast live from Hall 4 at the Exhibition Centre, and the signal will be made available to the EBU European network.
On 30 November 30, 2014, the last morning of his apostolic trip to Turkey, Pope Francis mentioned Taizé when he spoke of the search for full communion among the Churches, saying: “It is precisely the young who today implore us to make progress towards full communion. I think for example of the many Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant youth who come together at meetings organized by the Taizé Community. They do not do this because they are not aware of the differences which still separate us, but because they are able to see beyond them; they are able to embrace what is really important and what already unites us."
In a message today, Pope Francis said he is praying for the success of the Taizé Community’s ecumenical meeting.
In a message to young people from around the globe gathered in the capital of the Czech Republic, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said that through prayer and reciprocal dialogue, they are attempting to be “the salt of the earth” and the Pope encourages them in their efforts towards greater communion.
He reassures them that as they strive for this goal, they should not be overwhelmed by their “limitations and their poverty.”
Pope Francis recalls that the Czech Republic is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its “return to democracy” and invites young people in Prague to remember in their prayers the men and women martyrs who “sometimes at the cost of great suffering” gave freely of themselves so that their country would regain its freedom.
Pope Francis calls young people to imitate the willingness of the Virgin Mary to open themselves to God’s plan and says he is confident that with imagination and creativity, they will spread the word of the Gospel in their own countries. Calling them “travelers of the faith,” Pope Francis says it is wonderful that young people are “happy to bring Jesus to every street, to every square, to every corner of the earth!”
For more information see: www.taize.fr/en_rubrique2420.html