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Portugal's ambassador: WYD will put Lisbon back in the spotlight for Catholics

WYD in Panama brought with it much news, among them was the news of where the next World Youth Day will be.

It will be in 2022, while the exact date is not yet known. The Ambassador of Portugal to the Holy See, António José Emauz, says for the Portuguese it is an important event.   

Ambassador of Portugal to the Holy See

“It means Lisbon can return to the spotlight for so many Catholics and so many young people from all over the world. We are very happy with this decision. This is because it is the biggest world event with young people.”

According to what he heard, Pope Francis loved the idea of celebrating WYD in Lisbon when presented the possible options.

Ambassador of Portugal to the Holy See

“Since it is a decision for the pope to make, no one knew for sure. The Holy See couldn't even confirm we would be chosen. There were signs though.” “I was convinced it was going to be held in Lisbon. This is because a few months beforehand the President of the Portuguese Republic invited me to accompany him to Panama's WYD.”

This will be the seventh time a pope has visited Portugal. It will also be the second time for Pope Francis, who visited Fatima in May 2018.

The ambassador believes WYD in Fatima is not possible due to logistics. However, it will be a safe place to visit as every year they receive 7,000,000 people.   

Antonio José Emauz is sure Portuguese families will host many pilgrims. This is because young people usually do not want to pay a lot of money for accommodation. 

Ambassador of Portugal to the Holy See

“We have a shared history with Africa and South and North America. We are a country of emigration. There are Portuguese people in many parts of the world, which bring us closer to others. We hope this will help encourage many young people from Africa and North and South America to come to Lisbon in 2022.”

He cannot reveal much more, because there are still three years left. However, he says the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life will begin visiting Portugal soon to begin preparations for the 35th edition of WYD.