(Vatican Radio) Polish Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, has sent a message looking ahead to the next World Youth Day which will take place in Krakow from July 26th to 31st 2016. Pope Francis is scheduled to attend the event that will be focused on the theme from the Beatitudes: ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy’. Philippa Hitchen reports…
Taking place in the context of the Jubilee Year of Mercy which begins on December 8th this year, the Krakow event follows on from the last World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro where Pope Francis told young people to read the Beatitudes because, he said, it “will do you good”. In his message Cardinal Rylko notes that the Pope has made the theme of mercy a priority of his pontificate and that the Krakow meeting will mark an international Jubilee of Young People dedicated to this theme.
It’s the second time that World Youth Day has been held in Poland – the first such event took place in 1991 at the Marian shrine of Czestochowa with Pope John Paul II. The Polish pontiff will also be spiritually present at the 2016 event as young participants visit the tomb of St Faustina Kowalska at the Divine Mercy shrine, inaugurated by Pope John Paul during his last visit to his homeland in 2002. There, they will be able to take part in a programme of meditations and recitation of the Divine Mercy chapelet.
Numerous confessionals will also be set up and Pope Francis himself is likely to offer the sacrament of reconciliation to a number of young men and women attending the celebration. A symbolic Holy Door will also be built at the shrine, through which the Pope will process at the start of the prayer vigil and Eucharistic Adoration on Saturday July 30th. Following the final Mass on Sunday 31st, Pope Francis will give lighted lamps to five young couples from the five continents to symbolically send all the participants out as missionaries of God’s mercy throughout the world.
(from Vatican Radio)…
Less than 24 hours
after registration opened for next year’s World Youth Day (WYD), 45,000 people
had already signed up. The first to register was Pope Francis himself who had
previously announced that the theme of the meeting would revolve around mercy.
According to the website’s managers, thus far there are 250 “macrogroups” and
300 volunteers signed up. The countdown
to the event is already surrounded by great enthusiasm. In exactly one year —
from 26 to 31 July 2016 — young people will meet in Krakow for
the 31 st WYD. Twenty five years after its start, WYD will return to
Poland, the land of the Pontiff who created it. Even if Pope Wojtyła loved to
say that “it was the young people themselves who invented WYD”. In 1991 in
Częstochowa, a strong wind of faith was announced to the young people and from
them the faith blew beyond the iron curtain. The young Christians of eastern
and western Europe experienced the first large-scale encounter after the fall
of the Berlin Wall. Pope Wojtyła
returned to his homeland for WYD which saw the participation of more
than one million people. A true jubilee of young people will be celebrated on a
global level. Pope Francis recalled this at the Angelus and Cardinal Stanisław
Ryłko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, also underlined it in
a message published on the dicastery’s website. The theme of WYD is “Blessed
are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” is part of the extraordinary
holy year which will begin on 8 December. WYD in Krakow will complete a three
part series of themes dedicated to the
Beatitudes. The theme in Rio in 2014 was “Blessed are the poor in
spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. This year’s theme for the 30 th
WYD on the diocesan level is “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see