Three hundred spread Gospel in French tourist towns


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Paris, France, Aug 31, 2009 / 08:56 pm (CNA).- French Catholic festival intended to announce the Gospel to tourists concluded on Sunday, with three hundred young adult Catholics taking part in the event. One French bishop said the event was a "grace" of World Youth Day.

The Anuncio Festival organized concerts, debates, exhibitions and prayer vigils in the best-known tourist resorts including those at Saint-Tropez, Saint-Raphaлl, Cannes, Lyon, Toulouse, Marseille and Paris.

Last year the festival was held at four locations and had 250 attendees, SIR reports.

Bishop of Frйjus-Toulon Dominique Rey had given his official approval to the event in the city Sainte-Baume, where Provencal tradition holds that Mary Magdalene once lived.

The bishop is a member of the Emmanuel Community, one of the religious communities that organized the event.

Other prelates supporting the event included Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon, and Auxiliary Bishop of Paris Jean-Yves Nahmias.
The festival was also attended by the Missionaries of Mercy, the Dominicans of Sainte-Baume, the Congregation of the Brothers of the Holy Spirit, the community of Saint Martin, the Missionary Fraternity, the community of Shalom, Canзao Nova, the Brothers of Saint John, and the Benedictine nuns of Montmartre.
According to SIR, the festival's joint prayer closing event took place on the Parisian hill of Montmartre, where a tent city had been erected around the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
Bishop Rey described the festival's young people as a "wonderful sign" and said they must be encouraged.
"To show one's faith, one has to experience it," he added, calling the festival "an emanation and a grace of the World Youth Days."