WYD Lisbon 2023

Opening Mass of WYD: The new world begins with an encounter

XXXVII World Youth Day starts with Patriarch of Lisbon's welcome
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The WYD Lisbon officially opened with the celebration of Mass at Parque Eduardo VII in front of a huge gathering of young people from all over the world. Currently, there are about 350 thousand registered participants and 25 thousand volunteers involved in various ways in the event.

Among the concelebrants at the service there were also Fr. João Chagas, Department Head and Responsible for the Youth area of the Dicastery, with the Patriarch of Lisbon, Cardinal Manuel Clemente, presiding over the Eucharist. Before the presiding bishops of youth ministry offices from around the world, the delegation from the last WYD in Panama and the President of the Republic, Card. Clemente welcomed the pilgrims arriving in Lisbon. "Welcome!" he repeated several times in various languages, "During these days Lisbon is your home, while Christ and Mary always are!".

In commenting the Gospel of the Visitation, the overall theme of the Day, the Patriarch highlighted some key phrases: "Mary embarks on a journey," "Mary hurriedly reached the mountain," "Mary entered Zechariah's house and greeted Elizabeth."



Mary embarks on a journey

"It has been worthwhile," emphasized Card. Clement addressing the young people, “to undertake this journey that has brought you here to meet each other, in these days, in the diversity and personal qualities that each and every one of you brings, from every land, language and culture. There is nothing like this personal and group journey, at the meeting of everyone's journey!"


Mary hurriedly reached the mountain

“When I told Pope Francis – he continued in his homily - that this was precisely the motto of our World Youth Day – Mary arose and went with haste... – he immediately added that yes, with haste but not anxiously. In fact, the craving is for what we do not yet have, and we intend to be restless. The haste is different; it is to share what already carries us forward. That is why it is an urgency that is serene and without trampling. How you got here and how you will be here, bringing to others what brought you”.


Mary entered Zechariah's house and greeted Elizabeth

“Every meeting we have,” continued the Patriarch, “must begin with a true greeting, in which we exchange words of sincere welcome and full sharing. Lisbon welcomes you wholeheartedly, and so the other lands in which you have been or will be in this Portugal will also be yours. […] Much of this is lacking even in the world we are in, when we neither notice the presence of others, nor notice others we meet the way we should. Let us learn from Mary – he invited - to greet each and every person. Let us intensely put it to practice this World Youth Day. The new world – he concluded - begins in the newness of every encounter and in the sincerity of the greeting we exchange”. 


01 August 2023