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WYD is :

  • A celebration of the joy of faith in Jesus !
  • For young people (and for the young at heart !)
  • An encounter with the universal Church, the Pope and Christ
  • An excellent opportunity to live in a spirit of sacrifice for Christ
  • Sometimes tiring
  • Discovering that the Holy Spirit touches young people from all across the world, whatever their nationality, language or culture
  • A chance to discover that it is better to give than to receive
  • Being welcomed into a country that wants to us discover their life of faith
  • A joyful and peaceful miracle
  • Discovering and participating in the youth of the Church
  • Taking part in one of the biggest gatherings in the world
  • The place to be !

WYD is not :

  • It is not just a chance to go on holiday
  • It is not an opportunity to stay in the comfort of your day-to-day life
  • It is not always going to immediately provide us a bathroom or food when you need it…
  • It is a not profit-seeking organisation, it is simply organised for young people who wish to discover the deeper meaning of their lives
  • Things don’t always run smoothly ; there may be ups and downs along the way, on both a natural and supernatural level !

When the Holy Spirit inspired John-Paul II to create WYD

In 1983, to celebrate the 1950th anniversary of the Resurrection, Pope John-Paul II organised the ‘Holy Year of Redemption’ in Rome and, on Palm Sunday, the International Youth Jubilee. The organisers were surprised when over 300 000 young people from all across the world arrived. It is from this surprise that the idea for WYD was born. That same year, John-Paul II gave young people a cross symbolising Christ’s love for humanity.


JOHN-PAUL II’S WORDS TO YOUNG PEOPLE : My dear young people, at the conclusion of this Holy Year, I entrust to you the sign of this Jubilee Year: the Cross of Christ! Carry it throughout the world as a symbol of Christ's love for humanity, and announce to everyone that only in the death and resurrection of Christ can we find salvation and redemption.

John-Paul II always showed a special affection for young people. On the evening of his election, he said to them :

You are the future of the world and the hope of the Church !


On Sunday 23rd March 1986 John-Paul II launched the first World Youth Day, and invited young people from around the world to a gathering the following year; this time, not in Rome, but in Buenos Aires. This marked the beginning of an incredible adventure which, every two or three years, brings young people together throughout the world. Every time, organisers are astounded by the immense crowds of young Christians from all over the world who come for Christ. Every diocese and community is invited to celebrate World Youth Day annually, outside of these huge gatherings, on Palm Sunday. To find all the essential documents, you can have a look at the Holy See’s web-page : the Holy Father speaks to young people.

Invitation to Poland teaser !

Announcement of the next WYD’s location