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World Youth Day official: It's not for tourism, it's a pilgrimage

2015-10-29

World Youth Day will take place in the Polish city of Krakow next summer, and thousands of young people are expected to join Pope Francis at the event. And its theme is consistent with a central aspect of his papacy: "Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.”

POPE FRANCIS
"In the first chapters of Matthew's Gospel, in Chapter 5, we find the Beatitudes. So, today or tomorrow, read them at home. Will you do it? Let's not forget the laws Jesus gives us.”

The event will focus greatly on the theme of mercy, especially since it's taking place during the Holy Year of Mercy.

Father Joao Chagas is responsible for the Pontifical Council for the Laity's section for the youth. He says that Pope Francis will ask the youth something very special.

FR. JOAO CHAGAS
Pontifical Council for the Laity
"For the Jubilee of Mercy, we know that the Pope also will ask young people from throughout the world, as Pope John Paul II already has, to take the call for mercy back to every country after they return.”

The Polish pontiff lived in Krakow for forty years before his election. The fact that World Youth Day will be held there is very symbolic, especially since he started the massive gathering.

FR. JOAO CHAGAS
Pontifical Council for the Laity
"It is an occasion for a new generation of youth, already some of them don't know Pope John Paul II, to return to the roots of World Youth Day with this saint.”

World Youth Day has changed many young people's lives. Chagas noted that it is, above all else, a pilgrimage.

FR. JOAO CHAGAS
Pontifical Council for the Laity
"World Youth Day is not a tourist trip, it is a pilgrimage. We must prepare a spirit of sacrifice to overcome challenges. They will come to Krakow in person, with open hearts, for a strong experience with the Mercy of God.”

World Youth Day will kick off on July 25, 2016. It's less than a year away, but thousands have already registered. At the top of the list is Pope Francis, who signed up online about a week ago.

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