The Stations of the Cross during the GS Triduum (Photo: Marco Previdi)

The impact of something big

From April 6 to 8, more than 3,500 GS Students participated in the Easter Triduum preached by Fr. Fabio Colombo in Rimini. Here are letters from some of them.

With wonder in my heart
This was my first GS Triduum in person, as I began the adventure of this companionship in the second grade during pandemic and lived these years with the stories of my older friends or cousins about this experience that had changed them so much. On Saturday, when I went to bed to get some rest after the Triduum, I could not hold back my tears. I am not someone who cries easily, but the impact of what I experienced during those three days was too great for me to remain indifferent. I have in mind a phrase that Fr. Fabio said during the final summary, "I saw something great." That is what happened to me. I witnessed something that shook me inside. My eyes shone from the outward journey to the return journey and in them are imprinted all in moments of those three days.
Davide Prosperi's greeting, the Angelus looking at the sea with a teacher and three other young people, Fr. Fabio's lesson, the Stations of the Cross, the moment when we knelt before the crucifix in silence, the assembly in the hotel, the singing at night by the sea, running with a friend of mine not to miss the sunrise together with the others, and Seve's final words were a tangible sign of an indescribable wonder. The words of Mina's song, "You burst into my heart suddenly" describe this wonder in my heart.
I am always a little hesitant to say I have seen God, but perhaps this is the first real time where I can say I have sensed Him. I felt Him close to me, reminding me that I am privileged, I have infinite love, I am part of a story.
Andrea, Bergamo

The meeting hall in Rimini

It is not a fairy tale
I have always been a Christian because my parents are and they raised me in the faith. At a certain point in life, however, you come to question whether all this is true, and if you do not verify it with your own experience, it is difficult to continue to believe. Here, at the Triduum I really understood that the Christian faith is not a fairy tale, but something real, life-changing. I kind of rediscovered my faith. God is not someone on high, but He is present, close to me. Before I left, I was caught up in a thousand things: my driver's license, the exam for college, English exam and school, which in April-May is no joke. I was really nervous and could not wait to disconnect, but now I know that for me the Triduum was not a time of disconnection. It was an important time of reflection that made me keep my eyes and ears open. Fr. Fabio said things that corresponded to my heart in such a total way that I could not help but listen.
The song Leaning on the Everlasting Arms really struck me because I know that I can surrender to His embrace when I am struggling and that I am never alone. I am more and more certain of this because I have seen things that cannot be explained by reason: those who organized the Triduum so that it would be beautiful, and especially the 3,500 people gathered to listen. This is not because they all believe in God, but because they have the same question in their hearts: an infinite desire for happiness. Happiness that I can seek by looking at reality, noticing the beautiful every day, but also the bad things, because you learn from those too. The death of a girl from Imola that changed the hearts of doctors, her parents, and ultimately my own, shakes me and raises a question: how is this possible? And I think the most reasonable answer is Him. Because reality is a gift and even if I do not pass my driver's license test, even if I get a bad grade in school, I know that I am loved by Him who died for me. Because of His love I was born and have a life to discover, which does not become fuller based on performance, on my achievements, but which is already wonderful in itself.
Now I want to bring this into daily life, I want to discover the reality that surrounds me starting even from the difficulties I face and the commitment to achieve my goals. Above all, I want to discover the people in front of me because there is something immense inside each one. I want to try to stop prejudging others. Even the person who seems the most distant from me, even that classmate I dislike, even a person by whom I feel judged can give me something. I want to live this way with an open heart and with the love that I can give only because I have received it and receive it every day from Him through those around me, even in the small things, even through a simple smile.

The Way of the Cross (Photo: Marco Previdi)

I am 16 years old and attend the GS group in Imola. On April 6, we left for Rimini, for the Triduum, having no idea what to expect and found ourselves in the midst of 3,600 young people, from all over Italy, who, like us, had said "yes!" to the proposal that had been made to us. One morning, I happened to talk to some girls from Catania who told me how long their journey had been: 18 hours by bus. Faced with this, a question arose in me, "But what brings you here? Why did you decide to undertake such a long journey to participate in the Stations of the Cross and listen to someone talk about Christ and the God-man dialogue?"
The main reason was faith: each of us had come because we had trusted a company of friends, a person who had shown us a new, more alive, freer, more human way of living and had been attracted to it.
In these three days, I had the opportunity to deepen what truth, freedom and knowledge have to do with dialogue with God. And how this reality shows up in the experiences I have and in my daily life.
Federica, Imola