About WYD
WYD is an encounter of young people from all around the world with the Pope amidst a festive, religious, and cultural atmosphere, which confirms the dynamism of the Church and testifies the significance of Jesus in our lives. “WYD is much more than an event. It is a time of deep and spiritual renewal; its fruits benefit the whole of society” (Benedict XVI). It is an extraordinary way of evangelization to strengthen youth ministry. WYD is held every three years and the last one was held in Cracow (Poland) in 2016.


WYD was established on December 20th, 1985. During a Christmas gathering, Saint John Paul II told the Cardinals and workers of the Roman Curia that he wanted WYD to be held every year on Palm Sunday as a meeting for young people in each diocese of the world, and every two or three years as an international encounter in a destination of his choice. WYD also promotes peace, unity, and fraternity among people and nations, commissioning the youth as ambassadors of this message. Finally, WYD also develops methods of new evangelization for the youth.
The first two encounters, held in 1984 and 1985 respectively, were organized on the occasion of the extraordinary Jubilee for Redemption (1983-1984) and the International Year of Youth (1985); yet these were not considered official WYD encounters. However, these two events encouraged the Pope to carry out such a blessed initiative which continues today.

WYD 2022 Major Sites

Lisbon is a city that makes you want to go exploring, to discover whatever might appear in every neighbourhood, on every street. It’s a safe and friendly city, relatively small but with so much to see. It’s an ideal place to spend a few days or as a starting point for touring the country. It’s old. It’s modern. It is, without doubt, always surprising.
More details to be announced…

Event Schedules (Tentative)

Up to 1 week before WYD Days in the Dioceses
Day 1 WYD Opening Ceremonies
Day 2 Morning catechesis – WYD Youth Festival events
Day 3 Morning catechesis – Arrival of the Pope
Day 4 Morning catechesis – WYD Youth Festival events – Way of the Cross
Day 5 Pilgrimage walk – Evening prayer vigil with the Pope
Day 6 Closing Ceremonies

Past WYD

2019 – Panama – Pope Francis

“I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” were the theme of 2019 WYD. It is an opportunity to reflect on vocation and being at the service of God and others. Pope Francis reminds us in his message to young people for World Youth Day that this theme does not mean that we must be ready only to act, but also to listen – to be in conversation with God, with an attitude of listening.

2016 – Krakow, Poland – Pope Francis

The spark of Mercy and the slogan “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” were the main echoes of the XXXI World Youth Day held in Kraków, Poland. Pope Francis affirmed that the Beatitudes are the core of Jesus Christ’s teaching. God’s calling, active help, and love thy neighbor were the main messages of the day.

2013 – Rio, Brazil – Pope Francis

The joy of the Gospel and the slogan “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28,19) perfectly summarized the 2013 WYD in Rio de Janeiro as it was the first overseas trip of the new pontiff. Francis asked the youth to get rid of unnecessary fears, because it is Christ Himself who walks before them and who guides them to their goals.