Pope Francis will meet with hundreds of thousands of young people for the second time in his pontificate. Three million people attended his first WYD, in Rio de Janeiro, in 2013.
It is expected that 1.5 million pilgrims will attend. They will be taken care of by 3,000 soldiers, 7,000 policemen and more than 8,000 firemen.
The Pope arrives in Poland this afternoon. He is scheduled to meet Polish authorities in the Wawel Castle, the old residence of the kings of Poland and one of the country's symbolic landmarks. There he will have a private meeting with the Polish president.
On Thursday he will visit the shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, he will celebrate Mass and, in the evening, he will arrive in Blonia by tram, for his first encounter with the pilgrims.
On Friday, the festive tone will turn into one of grievance and respect during the visit to Auschwitz. Pope Francis will not give any speeches there; he will only pray and greet some of the survivors, as well as people who helped Jewish refugees during World War II.
In the afternoon in Krakow, Pope Francis will lead the Stations of the Cross. The next day he will visit the Shrine of the Divine Mercy, dedicated to John Paul II's most cherished devotion, and one that Pope Francis has wanted to bring back to the spotlight with this Jubilee.
On Saturday night, Pope Francis will preside the Prayer Vigil. That will be the night before the closing Mass, where Pope Francis will announce the location of the next WYD, that will be celebrated in three years and, most surely, in another continent.