World Youth Day is a youth-oriented Roman Catholic Church event. While the event itself celebrates the Catholic faith, invitation to attend is non-denominational. World Youth Day is not associated with International Youth Day or any of the international observance days.
World Youth Day (or in short 'WYD') was initiated by Pope John Paul II in 1986. It is celebrated on a diocesan level annually, and at a week-long international level every two to three years at different locations. The international level events attract hundreds of thousands of youth from almost every country on the planet. It is a major part of the upsurge in Catholic Youth Work in some countries over recent years; for example, the Director of Catholic Youth Services for England and Wales has said of the event that it would have far-reaching effects, not restricted to those who attended.
In the month before the Extraordinary Synod, John Paul II took the occasion of the United Nations' International Youth Year to launch one of the signature initiatives of his pontificate-the World Youth Days that would draw millions of young people on pilgrimage to Europe, Latin America, North America, Asia, and Oceania.
The idea of the World Youth Day, the Pope remembered, could be traced back to his young friends in Srodowisko and their exploration of the personal and vocational dynamics of adolescence and young adulthood. His early papal pilgrimages, in Italy and abroad, had convinced him that a pastoral strategy of accompaniment with young people was as valid for a pope as it had been for a fledgling priest.
Srodowisko, a term suggested by Wojtyla himself in the 1960, is now used as a self-description by a group of some 200 men and women, many of them married couples with grandchildren, which first began take shape during his university Chaplaincy at St. Florian's Church in Krakow's old town, in Poland. Srodowisko does not translate easily. "Environment" is one possibility, but John Paul II prefers more humanistic "milieu." In any case, what would later come to be known as Srodowisko involved the fusing of several networks of young adults and young married couples with whom Father Wojtyla worked. The earliest of these called it self Rodzinka, or "little family." A later group of Wojtyla youngsters called themselves Paczka, "packet" or "parcel". Srodowisko saw youth groups evolve into networks of intellectual conversation. Both youngsters and intellectuals became involved in holiday excursions. The word itself maybe hard to translate, but that this network of friendships was crucial in shaping the ideas and the ministry of Karol Wojtyla the priest, later bishop, and ultimately pope, is indisputable. John Paul II marked the UN's International Youth Year and his Palm Sunday, 1985, meeting with young people in Rome with an Apostolic Letter, To the Youth of the World, which mixed reminiscence, exhortation, and the Pope's phenomenological approach to anything human in fairly equal proportions.
Over the course of the major events taking place, national objects are traded between pilgrims. Flags, shirts, crosses and other Catholic icons are carried amongst pilgrims which are later traded as souvenirs to other people from different countries of the world. A unity of acceptance among people is also common, with all different cultures coming together to appreciate one another.
Other largely recognized traditions include the Pope's public appearance, commencing with his arrival around the city with the 'Popemobile' and then with his final held mass at the event. Such is the regard for the large distance of pilgrimage walks performed by the attenders of the event. The most recent festival in [Sydney] recorded an estimated distance of a 10km walk as roads and other public transport systems were closed off.
The Archdiocese of Sydney was chosen as the host of the 2008 World Youth Day celebrations. The occasion will mark only the fourth Papal visit to the country - Pope Paul VI, twice by Pope John Paul II and now Pope Benedict XVI. At the time it was announced in 2005, WYD 2008 was commended by then Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, and the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell. World Youth Day 2008 was held in Sydney, with the Papal Mass held on the Sunday at Randwick Racecourse.
The week saw pilgrims from all continents participate in the Days in the Diocese program hosted by Catholic dioceses throughout Australia and New Zealand. The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI arrived into Sydney on Sunday 13 July 2008 at Richmond Air Force Base. Cardinal George Pell celebrated the Opening Mass at Barrangaroo (East Darling Harbour) with other activities including the re-enactment of Christ's passion during the Stations of the Cross and the Holy Father's boat cruise through Sydney Harbour. Pilgrims participated in a variety of youth festivities including visits to St Mary's Cathedral, daily Catechesis and Mass led by Bishops from all around the world, concerts, visits to the tomb of Blessed Mary MacKillop, the Vocations Expo at Darling Harbour, received the Sacrament of Reconciliation and prayed before the Blessed Sacrament during Adoration.
The event attracted 250,000 foreign visiting pilgrims to Sydney with an estimated 400,000 pilgrims attending Holy Mass celebrated by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday 20 July 2008. This is the largest single gathering of human beings at the one place in Australia's history.
|Year||Date/s||Location||Attendance1||Theme||Theme Song (Anthem) [Languages]2||Notable Facts|
|1984||April 15|| Rome, ||300,000||Holy Year of Redemption: A Festival of Hope||Resta Qui Con Noi [Italian]|| Pope John Paul II entrusts the WYD Cross to the Youth |
Holy Mass held at Piazza San Pietro
|1985||March 31|| Rome, ||300,000||International Youth Year||Holy Mass held at Piazza San Pietro|
|1987||April 11–12|| Buenos Aires,||900,000||We ourselves have known and put our faith in God’s love towards ourselves (1 Jn 4:16)||Un Nuevo Sol [Spanish]||First WYD outside Italy and Europe|
|1989||August 15–20|| Santiago de Compostela,||400,000||I am the Way, the Truth and the Life (Jn 14:6)||Somos Los Jóvenes [Spanish]||Final Mass held at Monte do Gozo|
|1991||August 10–15|| Częstochowa,||1,600,000||You have received a spirit of sonship (Rom 8:15)||Abba Ojcze [Polish Italian Spanish]|
|1993||August 10–15|| Denver,||500,000||I came that they might have life, and have it to the full (Jn 10:10)||(We Are) One Body [English]|| First WYD in North America |
Final Mass held at Cherry Creek State Park
|1995||January 10–15|| Manila,||4,000,000||As the Father sent me, so am I sending you (Jn 20:21)||Tell the World of His Love [English]|| |
Final Mass held at Luneta Park
|1997||August 19–24|| Paris,||1,200,000||Teacher, where are you staying? Come and see (cf. Jn 1:38-39)||Maître Et Seigneur [French]||Final Mass held at Longchamp Racecourse|
|2000||August 15–20|| Rome, ||2,000,000||The Word became flesh and dwelt among us (Jn 1:14)||Emmanuel [Italian English French Spanish]|| Held on the occasion of the Great Jubilee |
Final Mass held at Tor Vergata
|2002||July 23–28|| Toronto,||800,000||You are the salt of the earth ... you are the light of the world (Mt 5:13-14)||Lumière Du Monde/Light Of The World [French English Spanish Italian]|| Last WYD attended by Pope John Paul II |
Final Mass held at Downsview Park
|2005||August 16–21|| Cologne,||1,200,000||We have come to worship Him (Mt 2:2)||Venimus Adorare Eum [German Latin French Spanish English Italian]|| |
Final Mass held at Marienfeld
|2008||July 15–20|| Sydney,||400,000||You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses. (Ac 1:8)||Receive The Power [English Italian Spanish French]|| First WYD in Oceania |
''Final Mass held at Randwick Racecourse
|2011||August 15–21|| Madrid,||TBD||TBD||TBD||Spain becomes the first country (outside Italy) to host WYD twice|
|March 23, 1986||Always be prepared to make a defence to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you (1 Pt 3:15)|
|March 27, 1988||Do whatever he tells you (Jn 2:5)|
|April 8, 1990||I am the vine, you are the branches (Jn 15:5)|
|April 12, 1992||Go into all the world and preach the Gospel (Mk 16:15)|
|March 27, 1994||As the Father sent me, so am I sending you (Jn 20: 21)|
|March 31, 1996||Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life (Jn 6:68).|
|April 5, 1998||The Holy Spirit will teach you all things (cf. Jn 14:26 )|
|March 28, 1999||The Father loves you (cf. Jn 16:27)|
|April 8, 2001||If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me (Lk 9:23)|
|April 13, 2003||Behold, your mother! (Jn 19,27)|
|April 4, 2004||We wish to see Jesus (Jn 12:21)|
|April 9, 2006||Your word is a lamp to my feet and light to my path (Ps 119:105)|
|April 1, 2007||Just as I have loved you; you also should love one another (Jn 13:34).|
|April 5, 2009||TBD|
|Up to week before||TUE||WED||THU||FRI||SAT||SUN|
|MORNING|| Days in the Dioceses:||Day of official arrival and welcome for pilgrims||Catechetical Session with participating Bishops||Walking pilgrimage to Vigil Site||Closing ceremonies:|
|AFTERNOON||Opening ceremonies||Afternoon shows, music, prayer and reconciliation opportunities||The Pope officially arrives at WYD and delivers his welcome address at a prayer service||Afternoon shows, music, prayer and reconciliation opportunities||Afternoon shows, music, prayer and reconciliation opportunities at Vigil Site|
|EVENING||Evening shows, music, prayer and reconciliation opportunities||Stations of the Cross||Evening Vigil with the Pope|
Music, prayer, reconciliation opportunities, as well as adoration of the Blessed Sacrament may also be part of the celebrations.