In less than two years, the World Youth Day 2023 (WYD), the world’s largest gathering of Catholic young people will be happening.
From August 1 to 6, 2023, Catholic youth will be participating in the WYD in Lisbon, Portugal. The official dates were announced last October 3 by Cardinal Manuel Clemente, the Patriarch of Lisbon. It was supposedly meant to be announced on October 4, Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Cardinal Clemente also said that they hope the 22 months before the event is “a time for evangelization for all.” (Read: Vatican Releases Guidelines for World Youth Day Celebrations)
The last WYD in 2019 was held in Panama City, and is usually held in a different continent every three years. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, events had to be rescheduled, including this one. WYD was supposed to be held in August 2022, but the organizing committee decided to push it back one year.
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As mentioned, the WYD for 2023 will be in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. The city has around 505,000 living there, and is 75 miles (120 kilometers) away from Fatima–one of most visited Marian pilgrimage sites in the world.
It was also said in a 2018 report that Lisbon has one of the highest numbers of weekly Mass attendance among young people in Europe making it a fitting host for the big event.
Bishop Américo Manuel Alves Aguiar, the bishop overseeing all preparations for the youth gathering shared that he hopes WYD Lisbon 2023 becomes an opportunity to renew hope especially in the time of a pandemic. (Read: 3 Messages From Pope Francis to Inspire the Youth)
“I wish WYD Lisbon 2023 to be from and to all the people and that it can mean an opportunity to renew the hope in the post-pandemic period,” he said.