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World Youth Day

[Updated: 06.02.2007]


 

 

 

© Arturo Mari/L'Osservatore Romano

 

W orld Youth Day is generally celebrated two ways: every year in local churches with the Pope in Rome, on Palm Sunday; every two years with international meetings in a different place and a programme which touches all continents. The city for the international venue is chosen each time by the Pope, who usually announces it on Palm Sunday of the previous year or at the end of the previous international meeting.

Every year the Pope sends a Message to young people throughout the world for the next World Youth Day.

T he "genesis" of the World Youth Day:

  • International Jubilee for the Young (on the occasion of the Extraordinary Jubilee for Redemption, the Holy Year of 1983-1984)
    11-15 April 1984, Rome (Italy)

  • This is the first international meeting following the Pope’s invitation to young people (after reciting the Regina Coeli from the balcony of the Duomo in Milan on 22 May 1983) to come to Rome "for a prayer meeting" for sharing, conversion and joy".
  • Meeting with young people (within the context of the International Youth Year, declared by the United Nations Organization)
    30-31 March, Rome (Italy)

    The second time the Pope’s invitation made on 25th November 1984 - after reciting the Angelus Domini - was for Palm Sunday to "celebrate, proclaim, bear witness together ‘that Christ is our peace’" and with the request to the Episcopates of all Nations, to movements and Catholic international associations to support this initiative.
    Theme: "You are called upon to build peace".

  • Apostolic Letter Dilecti amici by the Holy Father of 31 March 1985 "To young men and women in the world" for the International Youth year, declared by the United nations Organization (published on 26 March 1985).
    [English, Italian]

  • The Holy Father’s accompanying Letter to the Apostolic Letter Dilecti amici to Bishops throughout the world of 31 March 1998 (Cf. Teachings by John Paul II. VIII, 1-1985).
    In this letter Pope John Paul II hopes for concrete initiatives in the field of youth pastoral work at national, diocesan and parish level within the individual associations and movements grouping young people.
  • The proclamation of establishing a World Youth day happened during the address by John Paul II to the College of cardinals and the Roman Curia on 20 December 1985: "The Lord blessed that meeting (with young people - on the eve of Palm Sunday - 30 March 1985) in an extraordinary way to the extent that a World Youth Day was established for forthcoming years to be celebrated on Palm Sunday together with the useful assistance of the Council for the Laity".

J ohn Paul II said in Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Arnoldo Mondadori, Florence, 1994:

"Every parish priest in Rome knows that my visits to the parish must conclude with the meeting between the Bishop of Rome and the young people of the parish. And not only in Rome, but anywhere the Pope goes, he seeks out the young and the young seek him out. Actually, in truth, it is not the Pope who is being sought out at all. The one being sought out is Christ, who knows ‘that which is in every man’ (Jn 2:25), especially in a young person, and who can give true answers to his questions! And even if they are demanding answers, the young are not afraid of them; more to the point, they even await them.

This also explains the idea of holding World Youth Days. At the very beginning, during the Jubilee Year of Redemption, and then again for the International Year of Youth, sponsored by the United Nations (1985), young people were invited to Rome. This was the beginning. No one invented the World Youth Days. It was the young people themselves who created them. 
Those days, those encounters, then became something desired by young people throughout the world. Most of the time these Days were something of a surprise for priests, and even bishops, in that they surpassed all their expectations.

The World Youth Days have become a great and fascinating witness that young people give of themselves. They have become a powerful means of evangelization.In the young there is, in fact, an immense potential for good and for creative possibility.  Whenever I meet them in my travels throughout the world, I wait first of all to hear what they want to tell me about themselves, about their society, about their Church.And I always point out: ‘What am I going to say to you is not as important as what you are going to say to me. You will not necessarily say it to me in words; you will say it to me by your presence, by your song, perhaps by your dancing, by your skits, and finally by your enthusiasm.’

We need the enthusiasm of the young.
  We need their joie de vivre. In it is reflected something of the original joy God made in creating man. The young experience this same joy within themselves. This joy is the same everywhere, but it is also every new and original. The young know how to express this joy in their own special way.

It is not true that the Pope brings the young form one end to the world to the other. It is they who bring him.
Even though he is getting older, they urge him to be young, they do not permit him to forget this experience, his discovery of youth and its great importance for the life of every man. I believe this explains a great deal.

The very day of the inauguration of my papal ministry, on October 22nd 1978, at the conclusion of the liturgy, I said to the young people gathered in St. Peter’s Square: ‘You are the hope of the Church and of the world. You are my hope.’ I have often repeated these words."


List of World Youth Days

| 1986 - I | 1987 - II | 1988 - III | 1989 - IV | 1990 - V | 1991 - VI | 1992 - VII | 1993 - VIII |
| 1994 - IX | 1995 - X | 1996 - XI | 1997 - XII | 1998 - XIII | 1999 - XIV | 2000 - XV |
| 2001 - XVI | 2002 - XVII | 2003 - XVIII | 2004 - XIX | 2005 - XX | 2006 - XXI |
| 2007 - XXII | 2008 - XXIII |

Announcement: 21st August 2005

Theme: "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses (Acts 1,8)

Message of the Holy Father of 27th January 2007
for the XXII World Youth Day
(Published on 5th February 2007)

Theme: "
Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another" (Jn 13,34)
[English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish]

Message of the Holy Father of 22nd February 2006
for the XXI World Youth Day
(Published on 27th February 2006)
Theme: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Ps 119/118,105)
[Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish]

Announcement: 11th March 2003

Message of the Holy Father of 6th August 2004
for the XX World Youth Day
(Published on 26th August 2004)
Theme: "We have come to worship him" (Mt 2,2)
[Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]

Announcement: 11th March 2003

Message of the Holy Father of February 28th 2004
for the XIX World Youth Day
(Published on 1st March 2004)
Theme: "We wish to see Jesus" (Jn 12,21)
[English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish]

Message of the Holy Father of March 8th 2003
for the XVIII World Youth Day
(Published on 11th March 2003)
Theme: "Behold, your mother!" (Jn 19,27)
[English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish]

 

Information for  journalists
[English, French, Italian, Spanish]

Announcement: Angelus Domini of August 20th 2000
[English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish]

Passage of the Cross and announcement of the Theme (Words by the Holy Father of April 8th 2001 in English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish)

Message of the Holy Father of July 25th 2001
for the XVII World Youth Day
(Published on July 31st 2001)

Theme: "You are the salt of the earth...You are the light of the world" (Mt 5: 13-14)
[English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]

Words of the Holy Father at the recital of the Angelus at Castel Gandolfo of August 19th 2001
[English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish]

Words of the Holy Father at the recital of the Angelus in Saint Peter's Square of January 13th 2001
[Italian]

Message for the XVI World Youth Day
(Published on February 15th 2001)

Theme: "If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up His cross every day and follow me" (Lk 9: 23)
[English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish]

Announcement: August 24th 1997

Message of the Holy Father of June 29th  1999
for the
XV World Youth Day
(published on July 1st 1999)

Theme: "The Word became flesh, he lived among us" (Jn 1: 14)
[English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish]

Addresses during the XV World Youth Day:
- Welcoming Ceremony - St. Peter (August 15th  2000)
 
[English, French, German, Italian, PolishPortuguese, Spanish]
  - Welcoming Ceremony - St. John  Lateran (August 15th  2000)
 
[English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish]
- Holy Mass for the youth of the VII International Forum  ( August 17th 2000)
 [English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish]   
- Prayer Vigil - Tor Vergata (August 19th 2000)
 
[English, French, German, Italian, PolischPortuguese, Spanish]
- Holy Mass for closure - Tor Vergata (August 20th 2000)
 [English, French, German, Italian, PolishPortuguese, Spanish]
  
Photographs during the XV World Youth Day
- World Youth Day (1)
- World Youth Day (2)

Message of the Holy Father of January 6th 1999
for the XIV World Youth Day
(published on January 9th  1999)

Theme: "The Father loves you" (Jn 16: 27)
[English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]

Message of the Holy Father of January 6th 1999
for the XIII World Youth Day
(published on December 22nd  1997)

Theme: "The Holy Spirit...will teach you everything" (Jn 14:26)
[English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish]

Message of the Holy Father of August 15th 1996
for the
XII World Youth Day
(published on August 15th
1996)
Theme: "Rabbi, where do you live? Come and see" (Jn 1:38-39)
[English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish]

Addresses during the XII World Youth Day
[English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish]

Message of the Holy Father of November 26th 1995 for the XI World Youth Day 
(Published on November 25th 1995).

Theme: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the message of eternal life" (Jn 6:68)
[English, Italian, Spanish]

Message of the Holy Father ofl November 21st  1993
for the  IX-X World Youth Day
(published on November 27th 1993)

Theme: "As the Father sent me, so am I sending you" (Jn 20:21)
[English, Italian, Spanish]

Message of the Holy Father of November  21st 1993
for the  IX-X World Youth Day
(published on November 27th 1993)

Theme: "As the Father sent me, so am I sending you" (Jn 20:21)
[English, Italian, Spanish]

Message of the Holy Father of August 15th 1992
for the
VIII World Youth Day
(published on August 14th 1992)

Theme: "I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full" (Jn 10:10)
[English, Italian, Spanish]

Message of the Holy Father of November 24th 1991
for the
VII World Youth Day
(published on November 30th 1991)

Theme: "Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Gospel to all creation" (Mk 16:15)
[English, Italian, Spanish]

Message of the Holy fatger of August 15th 1990
for the 
VI World Youth Day
(published on Augustl 18th 1990)

Theme: " You received the spirit" (Jn 20:21)
[English, Italian, Spanish]

Message of the Holy Father of August 13th  2001
to the youth meeting in Częstochowa (Poland) on the occasion of 10° anniversary of the VI World Youth Day
(published on August 15th 2001)

[Italian, Polish]

Address of the Holy Father during the Angelus Domini at Castel Gandolfo, 19.08.2001
[Italian]

Message of the Holy Fatherof November 26th 1989
for the V World Youth Day
(published on December 2nd 1989)

Theme: "I am the vine, you are the branches" (Jn 15:5)
[Italian]

Message of the Holy Father of November 27th 1988
for the IV World Youth Day
(published on December 16th 1988)

Theme: "I am the Way; I am Truth and Life" (Jn 14:6)
[Italian]

Message of the Holy Father of December 13th 1987
for the  III World Youth Day
(published on January 19th 1988)

Theme: "Do whatever he tells you" (Jn 2:5)
[Italian]

Message of the Holy Father of November 30 1986
for the II World Youth Day
(published on November  29th 1996)

Theme: "We have recognized for ourselves, and put our faith in, the love God has for us" (1 Jn 4:16)
[Italian]

Theme: "Always have your answer ready for people who ask you the reason for the hope you have" (1 Pet 3:15)

 


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