World Youth Day

The World Youth Day (WYD) is a week-long series of events celebrating the faith of young people. This concept of gathering young people from around the world to meet with the Holy Father was inaugurated by John Paul II. Since the first WYD in 1984; these gatherings have made a significant impact on the life of the whole Church. WYD begins on a Tuesday and concludes 5 days later when a multitude of young people gather with the Holy Father to celebrate the Eucharist.

During the intervening days, there are many opportunities to attend the various catechetical sessions, to enter into the special moments of prayer and to share in numerous activities as young people from around the world build bonds of faith and friendship.

Over 20 years ago World Youth Day (WYD) began at the invitation of the Holy Father (John Paul II), who wanted to gather young people together for a celebration of faith, life and love. Since the first one in Rome in 1984, there has been a WYD almost every year. On every alternative year when it is not held in Rome, Italy on Palm Sunday; it takes place in a different international destination. These international celebrations have been held in a host of countries.

In 1995 the gathering in Manila, Philippines recorded an attendance of over four million. In the millennium year of 2000, World Youth Day in Rome attracted over two and a half million pilgrims. Simply by attracting so many pilgrims, World Youth Day has become a significant spiritual phenomenon. Participants are mainly Catholics, although the invitation to take part is extended to all.

 

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