The Holy See
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20th World Youth Day
(Cologne 2005)

I wish formally to announce that the next World Youth Day will take place in 2005, in Cologne, Germany.

In the great Cathedral in Cologne are honoured the relics of the Magi, the Wise Men from the East who followed the star which led them to Christ. As pilgrims, your spiritual journey to Cologne starts today. Christ awaits you there for the Twentieth World Youth Day!

May the Virgin Mary, our Mother on our pilgrimage of faith, be with you on the way. (Toronto, 28 July 2002)

These were the words of Pope John Paul II after the Papal Mass at Downsview Park in Toronto as he invited young people to the next World Youth Day to be held in Cologne from 16 to 21 August 2005.

In his message for the 18th World Youth Day, celebrated at diocesan level on Palm Sunday 2003, the Holy Father announced the themes for World Youth Day 2004 and 2005, thus indicating a path of preparation to be taken during the next two years:

2004 19th World Youth Day: "We wish to see Jesus" (Jn 12:21)

2005 20th World Youth Day: "We have come to worship Him" (Mt 2:2)

In response to the Holy Father's invitation, young people have already set out on this stage of their pilgrimage. The World Youth Day Cross was passed from the youth of Canada to the youth of Germany. It has set out on a long journey through many countries of Europe before it goes on pilgrimage through the dioceses of Germany. It is accompanied by the icon of Our Lady, Salus Populi Romani, that was present at the WYD Vigil at Tor Vergata in Rome in August 2000 and which Pope John Paul II has entrusted to the youth: "Today I also entrust to the delegation from Germany the Icon of Mary. From now on it will accompany the World Youth Days, together with the Cross. Behold, your Mother! It will be a sign of Mary's motherly presence close to young people who are called, like the Apostle John, to welcome her into their lives."(Angelus, 18th World Youth Day, 13 April 2003).

At the same time, the logistic organisation of WYD has been set in motion. The Pontifical Council for the Laity, entrusted by the Holy Father since the beginning with the overseeing of this task, held an international conference in Rome for WYD organisers from around the world with the title: "From Toronto to Cologne". The German organising committee for WYD 2005 with headquarters in Cologne has begun the enormous task of planning and programming the event. Following a national competition, and with the approval of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the official logo of WYD 2005 is now available.

Any further information over the next few months will be made available on this website and on the German Committee website: