Petropolis, Brazil, Nov. 7 —Youthful workers of the world celebrated the birthday of His Holiness Pope John XXIII with a pageant portraying the problems of farm laborers.
The pageant, a feature of the second world congress of the Young Christian Workers, invoked the principles of the Pope*s recent encyclical on social Justice.
The actors engaged the audience of delegates from 85 nations in a dialogue-chorus appealing for the development of backward countries.
During the pageant a group of young Congolese sang a “Missa Luba,” which combined Gregorian melodies with African rhythms in a dialogue between the Church of the past and the Church of the future.
The pageant and the religious music were presented on November 4, fourth day of the 13-day congress. Pope John marked his birthday that day, third anniversary of his coronation, although he does not reach the age of 80 until November 25.
A dramatic moment in the Missa Luba came at the Credo, when the words of Christ’s death were accompanied by the muffled beat of drums which announce the death of a great king in the Congo. Word of the Resurrection was greeted with a Joyous beating of Jungle tomtoms.
At the close of the pageant, delegates from all 85 nations filed before the microphone to address birthday greetings to the Pope in their native languages. A series of small congresses were held in 150 Brazilian cities to prepare for the world congress here.
The Young Christian Workers have about half a million members in Brazil. Their world membership Is edging toward the three-million mark. Simultaneous with the YCW world congress in this resort town 25 miles from Rio de Janeiro, the first National Congress of Young Workers met in Rio.
Both congresses are to close at a Joint rally in a sports stadium.
Many of the delegates helped pay the passage of delegates unable to purchase their own tickets. Brazil*s YCW contributed about $3-4,000 to pay hotel expenses for delegates.
Congress honors birthday of pope with farm pageant (N.C.W.C. News Service)