Tag Archive: world youth day

This Wednesday, 4 July 2012, is the Feast of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, a patron saint of World Youth Day and “man of the Beatitudes.”

There will be two events on Wednesday in Brisbane to mark his feast day.


World Youth Day 2013 dates chosen

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, DEC. 14, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The official dates of the 2013 World Youth Day have been established: July 23-28.

The dates were chosen at a meeting between the Pontifical Council for the Laity and a local organizing committee, in Rome since Monday for planning.

The committee is made up of the archbishop of Rio, Orani João Tempesta, and two other bishops and other officials. The committee is also scheduled to decide on a logo.

Source: http://www.zenit.org/article-33987?l=english


Cesar Manso / AFP - Getty Images

Various commentators have written about the Pope’s desire to remain during the storm during the Vigil of World Youth Day.  Apparently he was asked several times if he wished to leave, and he kept saying ‘no.’  He had to break off from his prepared address, and so he didn’t get to say the following to the young pilgrims:

Dear friends, may no adversity paralyze you. Be afraid neither of the world, nor of the future, nor of your weakness. The Lord has allowed you to live in this moment of history so that, by your faith, his name will continue to resound throughout the world.

He didn’t need to say it!  He preached it through his actions of braving the storm with the young people.  Several have written about the profound silence of 1.5 million people when the Blessed Sacrament was exposed.  The Vigil, and the storm, will, I think, become one of ‘the’ highlights of WYD 2011.  In his own way, Benedict XVI is like his predecessor, Blessed John Paul II, who showed his fidelity to his vocation and his courage right to the end.  Not just in ‘fair weather’ but through the storms as well.

Dear young people, if you wish to discover and to live faithfully the form of life to which the Lord is calling each of you, you must remain in his love as his friends. And how do we preserve friendship except through frequent contact, conversation, being together in good times and bad? Saint Teresa of Jesus used to say that prayer is just such “friendly contact, often spending time alone with the one who we know loves us” (cf. Autobiography, 8).

How blessed are we to have such wonderful Successors of Saint Peter and Vicars of Christ on earth!

Thanks be to God!

Full address here.



The Holy Father reminded the young pilgrims that to truly be Christian, one needs to be united with Christ in his Church.  “We cannot follow Jesus on our own,” he said.

Dear young friends, as the Successor of Peter, let me urge you to strengthen this faith which has been handed down to us from the time of the Apostles. Make Christ, the Son of God, the centre of your life. But let me also remind you that following Jesus in faith means walking at his side in the communion of the Church. We cannot follow Jesus on our own. Anyone who would be tempted to do so “on his own”, or to approach the life of faith with that kind of individualism so prevalent today, will risk never truly encountering Jesus, or will end up following a counterfeit Jesus.

Having faith means drawing support from the faith of your brothers and sisters, even as your own faith serves as a support for the faith of others. I ask you, dear friends, to love the Church which brought you to birth in the faith, which helped you to grow in the knowledge of Christ and which led you to discover the beauty of his love. Growing in friendship with Christ necessarily means recognizing the importance of joyful participation in the life of your parishes, communities and movements, as well as the celebration of Sunday Mass, frequent reception of the sacrament of Reconciliation, and the cultivation of personal prayer and meditation on God’s word.

— Pope Benedict XVI, homily during the closing Mass of World Youth Day, 21 August 2011

Full text here.

On the pilgrim blog from the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulbourn (Australia) is a reflection written by Fr Emil Milat, who accompanied a group of pilgrims with Archbishop Coleridge to Madrid.

Priests, and others who’ve made pilgrimages, would resonate with what Father writes.

I could see that each person already had a deep love for God and when that love encounters genuine Christian community it multiplies exponentially.  It was like we were not tourists going around in a bus but an actual group of disciples personally called by Jesus and being formed by him through Archbishop Mark- who radiated the gospel in each Holy site we visited.  He was such great fun and more importantly kept us focused during the fun, on the one we came to find more deeply.

The most precious thing God can give you is to have another deep place in your heart open to a new intimacy- through facing deep hurts that need healing, having courage to know you are beautiful when you face your own nothingness before God, and to hold onto a hope of what glory will come if you face the death and resurrection cycle of Jesus.

Read the whole thing here.


“Nor can I fail to offer heartfelt thanks to the young people for having come to the World Youth Day and for their joyful, enthusiastic and intense presence. To them I say thank you, and I congratulate you for the witness which you gave in Madrid and in the other cities of Spain in which you stayed. Now I ask you to spread throughout the world the profound and joyful experience of faith which you had here in this noble country. Share your joy especially with those who would have liked to come but were unable to do so for various reasons, with all those who were praying for you and with all those whose hearts were touched by these celebrations. By your closeness and your witness, help your friends to discover that loving Christ means living life to the full.”

— Pope Benedict XVI, speaking before departing Spain after World Youth Day, 21 August 2011

Full text here.


The violence received more publicity than it deserved although some of our group were harassed and the riot police, all in black with helmets, shields and truncheons moved on the run around the C.B.D.
It was a great event spiritually and great fun with some typically Spanish colour and excitement.

— Cardinal Pell

Full column in the Sunday Telegraph: Madrid W.Y.D.


Have a look at this post on The Hermeneutic of Continuity and see the video with some great pictures from World Youth Day.

I can just imagine a mischievous smile on the Holy Father’s face as he begins the final paragraph (below).  He was giving a ‘thank-you’ address to World Youth Day Volunteers.

“As you now go back to your everyday lives, I ask you to treasure this joy-filled experience in your hearts and to grow each day in giving yourselves to God and to others. Perhaps many of you felt a very simple question forming in your hearts, faintly or forcefully as the case may be: What is God asking me to do? What is his plan for my life? Is Christ asking me to follow him more closely? Should I not spend my whole life in the mission to proclaim to the world the greatness of his love through the priesthood, or the consecrated life, or marriage? If this question has surfaced, let the Lord be your guide and become volunteers in the service of the One who “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mk10:45). Your life will achieve fulfillment in ways you cannot imagine.

Perhaps some of you are thinking: the Pope came to thank us and here he is asking us for something more! You are right. But that is the mission of the Pope, the Successor of Peter. After all, Peter, in his First Letter, reminds Christians that they were ransomed at a great price: that of the blood of Christ (cf. 1 Pet 1:18-19). Those who look at their lives from this perspective know that Christ’s love can only be met with love. That is what the Pope is asking you to do in this farewell: to respond in love to the One who for love gave himself up for us. Once again, I thank all of you. May God be ever at your side!”

— Pope Benedict XVI to WYD volunteers, Madrid, 21 August 2011.

Full text: http://www.zenit.org/article-33254?l=english

A great news story from World Youth Day, as reported on ZENIT.

WYD Pilgrims Convince Couple Not to Abort


Saved Life Seen as a 1st Fruit of Madrid Event


MADRID, Spain, AUG. 26, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Among the first fruits of World Youth Day is a human life saved from abortion.

The International Center for the Defense of Human Life (CIDEVIDA) told ZENIT about the baby who was saved Aug. 19.

That day, a group of Irish pilgrims were praying in front of the church of St. Martin of Tours, nearby an abortion clinic.

A couple arrived at the clinic with the intention of aborting their child, but the young people were able to speak to them about the decision.

A volunteer from CIDEVIDA, which had set up an exhibition in the cloister of the church, joined the group and put the couple in contact with the Red Madre (Mother Network) Foundation, which gives support, advice and help to pregnant women.

This network committed itself to support the birth of the couple’s child, and the parents grew stronger in their decision not to abort.

CIDEVIDA’s secretary, Juan José Panizo, spoke of the “gift” of this life as a joy for all.

“Thank you, Benedict, for having come,” he said, also praising the volunteer and the Irish pilgrims.

CIDEVIDA was founded in 2009 to give information on the reality of abortion and to promote alternatives to help pregnant women with problems.

Among other activities, the organization has a permanent exhibition on abortion in the villa of Tordesillas, in the province of Valladolid; a center to help pregnant women and care for those suffering from post-abortion syndrome; and a documentary center.

Praise God!  Every story like this gives great encouragement.