Date of World Youth Days is officially announced this Monday. Francisco will have his first meeting with young people on the 2nd.
The date of the World Youth Days, the world meeting of young people of the Catholic Church to be held in Portugal in 2023, is officially announced this Monday, symbolically on the day of St. Francis of Assisi. The meeting presided over by the Pope is scheduled for 1 to 6 August. It will be Francisco’s second visit to Portugal, after having presided in 2017 at the canonization of the little shepherds Francisco and Jacinta in Fátima, where he also celebrated the centenary of the 1917 apparitions.
The Pope will be present throughout the meeting, which will start with a celebration presided over by Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon on Tuesday, August 1st. The Pope’s first meeting with young people is scheduled for August 2nd, celebrating the weekend of August 5th and 6th the biggest ceremonies that will take place in Parque do Tejo, by the river.
There is usually a night vigil with the Pope on the eve of the close of the Days, with the young people sleeping in the room. The next day, there is an open mass, where the location of the following Days is announced.
At the moment, the organization is still evaluating scenarios for what might turn out to be the size of WYD in the (hopefully) post-pandemic. The last editions had very different levels of participation, and the 2012 WYD in the center of Madrid attracted around 1.5 million young people.
According to the organization, at the moment there are more than 400 volunteers working in the preparation and organization of the Days, with committees in 21 dioceses. In addition, the groups of young people are involved both in the preparation of the meeting, which will have the theme “Mary got up and left in a hurry”, and in what will be the future reception of the pilgrims, who usually stay overnight in schools, parishes, parks and camping and in family homes.
On November 21st, the Diocesan World Youth Day will take place, local meetings that will take place all over the world on the same date and start the countdown to the 2023 world meeting, postponed a year because of the pandemic, and which will be the 16th since the first edition in Rome, promoted by John Paul II.