The pandemic obligated the Vatican to postpone one of the most anticipated events for Catholic youth everywhere: World Youth Day, which will be celebrated in 2023.
This year, Panamanian young people were not able to hand off the cross to their Portuguese peers on Palm Sunday, but they will do so on the Solemnity of Christ the King, this Nov. 22, in St. Peter's Basilica.
Since John Paul II first called the world's youth to these meetings 36 years ago, this wooden cross has accompanied them during event preparations, making its way around the globe. It's done so along with this image of the Salus Populi Romani, patroness of Rome, which the Polish pope entrusted to young people in 2003.
This Sunday, the WYD cross will begin its tour through Portugal, accompanying preparations for the big event in summer 2023.
Daniel Díaz Vizzi