Pope John Paul II was inspired to establish World Youth Day in 1986 by the church’s Youth Jubilee (1984), a special meeting between the pope and young Catholics held at the conclusion of the 1983–84 Year of Jubilee, and by the United Nations International Youth Year (1985).
World Youth Day (WYD) is the gathering of young people from all over the world with the Pope. It is also a pilgrimage, a celebration of youth, an expression of the universal Church and an intense moment of evangelization for the youth of the world. Although its Catholic identity is clearly evident, WYD opens its doors to everyone, no matter how close to or distant from the Church they are. The World Youth Day was instituted by Pope St John Paul II, following the success of a youth Gathering in Rome in 1984. The first Official WYD then occurred in 1986.
Over the course of a week, young people from all over the world are welcomed, mainly in public (gymnasiums, schools, pavilions …) and parish facilities or family homes. In addition to the moments of prayer, sharing and leisure, the young people enrolled in this celebration participate in various initiatives organized by the WYD team, in different locations across the host city. The highlights are the celebrations (central features) for which the Pope is present, such as the welcoming and opening ceremony, the Way of the Cross, the vigil and, on the last day, the closing mass.
More than 2000 Pilgrims
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
32 Pilgrims - Over 18s only
226 Pilgrims across 4 pilgrim pathways
Panama City, Panama
«Mary arose and went with haste» (Lk 1:39) is the bible quote chosen by Pope Francis as the motto of the World Youth Day that will be held for the first time in the capital city of Lisbon, Portugal. The biblical phrase (a quote from the Gospel of St. Luke) opens the account of the Visitation (Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth), a biblical episode following the Annunciation (the angel’s announcement to Mary that she would be the mother of the Son of God, and the theme of the last WYD, in Panama).