From a reader:
I’m a regular reader of your blog who lives in Madrid, Spain. Today there was an outdoor Mass to commemorate the Feast of the Holy Family, which aimed to draw attention to the importance of the Christian family and its values in today’s world, and how these values are being threatened by such forces as anti-life government policies (especially here in Spain). Despite a cold, overcast, day, an estimated one million people attended! You can see photo galleries and videos here:
This aerial view (taken from the roof of a skyscraper on one side of Plaza Colon, where the Mass was celebrated) gives you an idea of how huge the crowd was:
The entire area was about as packed as the detail below, throughout the entire Plaza Colon (which is the biggest in Madrid) and the adjacent boulevards feeding into it (note the Spanish flag with a Sacred Heart where the national coat of arms usually goes):
Regardless of how one feels about these kinds of outdoor mega-Masses, the fact that hundreds of thousands of people braved nasty weather (there was even a snow alert on the radio) to witness to their convictions and their faith – in the middle of the Christmas holiday period, when half the city is away on vacation – looks like a positive sign.