All roads, airways and sea routes are busy bringing young people from around the world to Rio de Janeiro for the 28th World Youth Day. The 6-day event will be attended by Pope Francis, his first Apostolic Journey to his home continent since his election as Pope in March of this year.
The Holy Father’s Missionary Intention for July: “That World Youth Day in Brazil may encourage all young Christians to become disciples and missionaries of the Gospel”
The WYD, as documented on the official Rio2013 website, has its origin in large meetings with the youth celebrated by Pope John Paul II in Rome. The international youth meeting on the occasion of the Holy Year of Redemption came in 1984, in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. It was there that the Pope gave to the WYD Cross which became one of the main symbols of WYD, known as the Cross Day.
The following year, 1985 was declared International Youth Year by the United Nations. In March there was another international meeting of the youths in the Vatican and the same year the Pope announced the institution of World Youth Day.
In addition to being in another country, with its tourist charms, participation in the day requires a prepared body for the pilgrimage and an open heart to the wonders that God has in store for each one. They are catechesis, testimonies, sharing, examples of love of your neighbour and the Church, music festivals and cultural activities. Finally, it is a meeting of hearts that are driven by the same belief and hope that the diversity in fraternity is possible.
To celebrate International Environment Day and remind the faithful of the importance of nature in life, World Youth Day Rio2013, in partnership with WWF, presented on 5 June the video viewable on YouTube.
In it, a network of connections symbolically portrays the life of all beings, always linked together with a single source. It is with faith, hope and unity that we can continue the message of the video and save the environment, so important for the life of all human beings. We are connected, so we should be protectors of nature.
In 1972, at the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, it was decided that 5 June would be the date to create a special emphasis on the importance of preserving the environment. Since then, this day has been used throughout the world to reinforce the need to protect natural resources
WWF Network (World Wildlife Fund) is one of the largest and most respected independent environmental organizations in the world. WWF has the support of almost five million people and has a global network active in more than 100 countries. The WWF Network’s mission is to stop the degradation of the environment and build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.
…Columban Connections across Continents en route to Rio2013
For many young people from Australia and New Zealand, there will be a visit en route to Rio to Columban parishes in Santiago and Valparaiso, Chile. This 28th World Youth Day is both a faith gathering and a pilgrimage. And Columban Father Dan Harding expects this pre-Rio experience in Chile to be both challenging and moving for the young pilgrims …”because they will come face to face with families living in different degrees of poverty coping with winter. Pilgrims will encounter poor people probably unlike any other experience of poverty they have had in their lives. But at the same time they will encounter great nobility of spirit and generosity.”
Let us pray with Pope Francis:
“That World Youth Day in Brazil may encourage all young Christians
to become disciples and missionaries of the Gospel”