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.
#JMJ Revive los momentos más significativos del 4 día del #PapaFrancisco en Portugal: La visita a Fátima, con la oración en la Capilla de las Apariciones por la Iglesia y el mundo marcado por la guerra. El regreso a #Lisboa2023 para la Vigilia con los Jóvenes en el Parque Tejo pic.twitter.com/2yBnWnJRA4
— Vatican News (@vaticannews_es) August 6, 2023
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.
The second word is to listen. Listen to Jesus because, even with all the good will in the world, we embark on paths that seem to be loving, but in the end are forms of selfishness disguising themselves as love. Listen to Jesus because he will tell you what the path of life is.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) August 6, 2023
"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.
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."
Lastly, the third word: do not be afraid. Jesus Himself knows each of your hearts. He loves each of your lives. He knows your joys, your sorrows, your successes and failures. And today, on this #WYD, he says to you: do not be afraid, be courageous, do not be afraid.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) August 6, 2023
I leave you with this thought: walk and, if you fall, get up. Walk with a purpose; train every day of your life. Let us walk in hope, look to our roots, and strive ahead fearlessly. https://t.co/dOcJBubSFW
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) August 5, 2023
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."
— Vatican News (@VaticanNews) August 2, 2023
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.
Pope Francis announces that Seoul, South Korea, will host the 41st World Youth Day in 2027, and invites young people to the Jubilee for Young People in Rome in 2025.#PopeInPortugal #WYDLisbon pic.twitter.com/EBeLpplXhh
— Vatican News (@VaticanNews) August 6, 2023