After spending the night in the Campus Misericordiae, more than half a million young people welcomed the Pope.
The Israeli singer Noa played this poignant Ave Maria, as the Pope toured the huge meadow enabled for this WYD.
Pope Francis presided over the Mass which concluded this 31st World Youth Day.
In his homily, the Pope explained that although there are some obstacles placed in order to accept Jesus, one should not be afraid to answer.
"For us too, this is the secret of joy: not to stifle a healthy curiosity, but to take a risk, because life is not meant to be tucked away. When it comes to Jesus, we cannot sit around waiting with arms folded; he offers us life – we can’t respond by thinking about it or "texting” a few words!”
Therefore, he urged young people not to allow anything to paralyze them and to not settle for a life of comfort.
"Don’t let your soul grow numb, but aim for the goal of a beautiful love which also demands sacrifice. Say a firm "no” to the narcotic of success at any cost and the sedative of worrying only about yourself and your own comfort.”
The Pope told them that they are a blessing to the human family and that God will never judge them like the rest of the world does because He can see into their hearts.
"Jesus looks beyond the faults and sees the person. He does not halt before bygone
evil, but sees future good. His gaze remains constant, even when it is not met; it seeks the way of unity and communion. In no case does it halt at appearances, but looks to the heart.”
Before leaving, Pope Francis thanked the youth for the enthusiasm they shared with him these days. Afterwords, one of the most anticipated announcements was made: The country that will host the next World Youth Day.
"The providence of God will always precede us. To think that God has already decided on the next stage of this pilgrimage, that started in 1985 by John Paul II, will look like. That's why, I announce with joy that the next World Youth Day, after the two held at the diocesan level, will be in 2019 in Panama.”
Great joy broke out among the Panamanian pilgrims present who traveled to Krakow and heard this announcement live. The main authorities of the country such as President Juan Carlos
Varela, was in attendance.
WYD returns to Latin America. Panama will be the first Central American country to host this international youth meeting, an initiative that John Paul II launched over 30 years ago.