The World Youth Day is aimed at people between 16 and 35 years old, according to its organizers. The international event is usually held on a different continent every three years, but has been postponed until 2023 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
St. John Paul II established the week-long youth gathering in 1985. At some past World Youth Days, attendance has reached the millions.
Lisbon, the Portuguese capital that will host World Youth Day 2023, is only 75 miles from Fátima, one of the most visited Marian pilgrimage sites in the world. In Fatima, the Virgin Mary appeared to three little shepherds in 1917 with a message of peace and a request for prayer.
The theme of the World Youth Day in Lisbon is “Mary got up and left in a hurry”. In his message for the event, Pope Francis urged young people “not to postpone all the good that the Holy Spirit can do in you.”
“Now is the time to get up! Like Mary, ‘let us get up and go quickly’. Let us carry Jesus within our hearts and let us take him to all those we meet,” the pope said.