Panama 2019

Mary, the surest way to Jesus

Presentation of the logo for the next International WYD, to be held in this centralamerican country

At the prayer vigil on Saturday, May 13th, in Panama, young people from the dioceses of the isthmus welcomed the symbols of the WYD to their country: the Pilgrim Cross and the icon of Maria Salus Populi Romani that the young Panamanians had received from the young Poles in Rome last April. On Sunday the 14th, during the “Cita Eucarística”—the 47th edition of a traditional celebration in Panama—the symbols were presented to the entire nation, which will soon see them traveling throughout the countries of Central America on the traditional pilgrimage that will lead to the 2019 WYD.

For the occasion, the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, greeted the participants in a short video. Referring to the theme of this year’s WYD: “The Mighty One has done great things for me” (Lk 1:49), which was also the theme of Sunday’s event, Cardinal Farrell urged young people to recognize, as Mary did, the great things the Lord has done and will do for each of them and also through them for all the world’s young people who are preparing to participate in the 2019 WYD. The “great heart” of the Panamanians and this people’s openness, said the cardinal, will make this WYD one of the best!

The Eucharistic event on Sunday the 14th was also an occasion to present the official logo of Panama’s WYD. Significantly, the winner of the Best Design Contest is a twenty-year-old woman, an architecture student, Ambar Calvo. Already as a student of “Pureza de María” School, she attended the WYDs in Madrid and Rio de Janeiro, and she is now a member of the missionary group Deja Huella. Ambar says that she has made the Virgin’s “let it be to me according to your word” the motto of her own life.

She explained that the logo is intended to express the idea of Mary as the way to Jesus and Panama the means in the Lord’s hands to help young people all over the world to encounter His love. In the logo, we can recognize the outline of the isthmus of the country, the upper part of a great heart representing the Virgin’s love and tenderness, and below her “Yes” to God’s will, a crucial moment in young people’s lives. On Mary’s head, is a crown composed of a series of five white dots, symbolizing the young people of each continent. The cross, on the right side, completes the shape of the heart, and the colors, reminiscent of those of the flag of the Republic of Panama, recall the red of Christ’s love and passion, while the blue and white—Marian colors— recall the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

15 May 2017