Divine Mercy and John Paul II's legacy... those are the pillars of this WYD according to Pope Francis. He explained it in a video message he sent, just a few days before the start of the celebrations in Krakow.
The Pope also thanked Polish young people for their prayers and their efforts in preparation for WYD.
"Dear young people of Poland, I know that for some time now you have been preparing, especially with your prayers, for this great encounter in Kraków. I thank you heartily for everything that you have done, and for the love with which you have done it.”
Thousands of young people from every continent will join Pope Francis in Poland to take part in the 31st edition of WYD. The Pope hopes that this international meeting will send a message to the world.
"I am very anxious to meet you and to offer the world a new sign of harmony, a mosaic of different faces, from many races, languages, peoples and cultures, but all united in the name of Jesus, who is the Face of Mercy.”
Pope Francis highlighted the unique opportunity of celebrating this WYD in Saint John Paul II's homeland, a country that has kept its faith, despite its historical hardships.
"For me, it is a great gift of the Lord to visit you. You are a nation that throughout its history has experienced so many trials, some particularly difficult, and has persevered through the power of faith, upheld by the maternal hands of the Virgin Mary.”
WYD starts on Tuesday July 26th. The Pope will arrive in Krakow on Wednesday the 27th. Aside from the celebration of WYD, he will visit the Shrine of the Divine Mercy, the Shrine of Our Lady of Jasna Gora and the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.