For years, World Youth Day has been a celebration of young Catholics from all over the world who come together to pray and listen to the words of the Holy Father. Initiated by John Paul II, they have been held since 1986 every few years in various places around the world.
Meetings of hundreds of thousands and sometimes even millions of representatives of Catholic youth have been organized so far in Italy, Argentina, Spain, the USA, the Philippines, France, Canada, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Panama and Poland. This year in August this beautiful event will be hosted by Lisbon, the capital of Portugal.
Each celebration is accompanied by a motto. This year's slogan is:
«Mary arose and went with haste»(Lk 1:39) - this is a biblical quote chosen by Pope Francis.
In 1991, one of the cities of Shrines of Europe - Częstochowa, hosted the 6th World Youth Days - it was a unique celebration of people from all over the world with the participation of Pope John Paul II, when young people gathered at the Jasna Góra peak to absorb together the words of the Holy Father. This event was unique in the history of the city. For the first time, nearly 2 million people came to Częstochowa at the same time.
This year’s main celebrations are planned in Lisbon from 2 to 6 August 2023.
Participants of the meeting in Portugal will also have the opportunity to visit Fatima, where Our Lady appeared to 3 shepherd children from May 13 to October 13, 1917: Francisco and Jacinta Marto and Lucia dos Santos. During the apparitions, The Miracle of the Sun, was seen by about 60,000 people. In memory of these events and to commemorate the site of the apparitions, a sanctuary was built, which has been visited by four popes so far, and Pope Francis will return here in 2023 during World Youth Day in Portugal.
The Holy Father will come to Fatima on August 5. That day in the morning at 9.30 he will pray the rosary with young people in the Chapel of Apparitions in the Sanctuary of Fatima. After the service, he will go to Lisbon for the main World Youth Days celebrations.
Of course, in Fatima there will be a stand of Shrines of Europe, where it will be possible to meet and talk with representatives of our association. There you will also be able to find publications on the network of our cities, as well as pick up reusable bottles specially prepared for this occasion, which will serve you during many a pilgrimage to the cities of Shrines of Europe.
Many young people will include in their program a pilgrimage to Fatima, where various proposals have been prepared for them: special hiking trails have been developed, masses, services and religious workshops are planned. Publications and guidebooks were prepared, accommodation and support for visitors from all over the world were provided. We encourage everyone to get to know the beauty of the region better, with its beautiful beaches, unique mountains, where you can find great culture, gastronomy and get to know the hospitality and kindness of the local people.