More than 1.5 million people at WYD in Lisbon

Francis invited young believers to "have no fear" and "build a future of peace." Seoul, host of the next edition of the meeting, in 2027.

More than 1.5 million young people set out to Lisbon to meet Pope Francis at the World Youth Day (WYD), held in the Portuguese capital. The pontiff called on the pilgrims to "continue walking" and, above all, to "not be afraid" and "build a future of peace." At the end of the event, Francis announced that the next WYD, in 2027, will be held in Seoul (South Korea) and that in 2025 the Youth Jubilee will take place in Rome.

The Pope shares "the dream of Peace"

During the Saturday night vigil and Sunday Mass, the Pope focused his message especially on two ideas: Do not be afraid and World Peace. Regarding the second concept, the pontiff again brought to mind the war in Ukraine and all those who could not attend the event because of armed conflicts and invited those present to share his dream, "the dream of Peace":

I feel great sorrow for dear Ukraine, which continues to suffer so much. Friends, allow me, as an old man, to share with you, young people, a dream that I carry in my heart: the dream of peace, the dream of young people who pray for peace, live in peace and build a future of peace. Through the Angelus, let us place the future of humanity in the hands of Mary, Queen of Peace. And on your return home, continue to pray for peace. You are a sign of peace for the world, a witness to how diverse nationalities, languages and histories can unite rather than divide. You are the hope for a different world.

"Not retiring from life"

The Pontiff also invited the pilgrims to "dare," to "not to retire from life," and not to remain idle, but to work actively for a better world. Something that is only possible through "listening to Jesus," to his word. "We do not become luminous when we put ourselves under the spotlight, when we exhibit a perfect image and feel strong and successful. We become luminous when welcoming Jesus we learn to love like him. That makes us luminous. That leads us to do works of love. Do not deceive yourself, my friend, you will be light the day you do works of love," Francis pointed out.

It is estimated that more than 1.5 million young people participated in World Youth Day. Francisco Peña.

To you, young people, who cultivate big dreams, but who are often obscured by the fear of not seeing them come true; to you, young people, who sometimes think that you are not capable; to you, young people, tempted at this time by discouragement, by judging yourselves failures or by trying to hide your pain by disguising it with a smile; to you, young people, who want to change the world and fight for justice and peace; to you, young people, who put in the desire and creativity, but who feel that it is not enough; to you, young people, whom the Church and the world need as the earth needs rain; to you, young people, who are the present and the future; yes, precisely to you, young people, Jesus says: "Do not be afraid."

Meeting with victims of abuse

During his visit to Portugal, Francis met with a group of victims of abuse by members of the Catholic Church, to whom he asked forgiveness on behalf of the institution. Later, meeting with the Portuguese clergy, the Pope called for "a humble and constant purification, starting from the cry of pain of the victims, who must always be welcomed and listened to" and lamented "the disillusionment and anger that some people nourish in relation to the Church, in some cases because of our bad witness and the scandals that have disfigured her face."

Next stop for WYD, Seoul 2027 via Rome 2025

At the end of the Mass, as is traditional, the Pope announced the place where the next WYD will be held. It will be in 2027, in Seoul, capital of South Korea. Before that, in 2025, the Youth Jubilee will be held in Rome.