"I couldn't believe the multitude of people at my parish, at downtown. Everywhere, everybody was happy and friendly, and joyful," she said.
"We were singing and laughing and praising, and I can still hear the echo of the people singing, or shouting 'John Paul II! We love you!'"
Recalling the walk to Cherry Creek State Park for the final Mass, Galván expressed that it was in that moment that she understood what it meant to be Catholic. "It was just amazing how everybody was joyful at that time, and I know now that then I was being Catholic."
She shared that she has always had a special joy at having been at the final Mass celebrated by Blessed John Paul II, saying that "I have all my life to share with others the joy, the happiness, the pride of being Catholic."
Among the others who gave their testimonies were Denver native Marybeth Bonacci, who had traveled around the world giving speeches on Blessed John Paul II's "Theology of the Body" prior to his visit to the city, and Katherine Bauman, who proclaimed the first reading at the Papal Mass in Rio de Janiero with Pope Francis.
Both women shared the joy of being with each Pope, and spoke of the impact that each pontiff has had on them, as well as the universal Church.
Bonacci, who after World Youth Day wrote a book on the speeches of Blessed John Paul II, claimed that many "did not hear most of the talks," but that "it was the grace, the holiness of the man John Paul II, it was the Holy Spirit working through him," that helped open the hearts of those present to the Holy Spirit.
"He became our spiritual grandfather. And when your grandpa dies you don't just get a new one. A new holy father comes, he will be that spiritual grandfather to the generation who went to Rio."
Bauman affirmed this statement, saying that she was deeply moved by Pope Francis' "simplicity and his humanity," and that he reminded her of Jesus, and how accessible he became to us through his Incarnation.
"He's very dear to my heart now, and I know to a lot of young people's hearts," she said, stating that Pope Francis' example shows that being a disciple "comes in not just big extravagant situations in our lives, but in the very most basic encounters of our everyday lives."
The celebration was held at Denver's John Paul II Center for the New Evangelization, which was built after the pontiff's 1993 visit, and houses Denver's two seminaries and the offices of the archdiocese.
(Story continues below)
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Correction, Aug. 20, 11:56 am: An earlier version of this article stated that the final Mass of Denver's World Youth Day was held at Mile High Stadium. It was in fact held at Cherry Creek State Park.