“When I received the WYD cross and Marian icon, I thought, 'This is finally a reality!'”

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Portuguese youth have received the traditional symbols of WYD, which will now make their way through Portugal.

Tatiana and Joao were part of the delegation that represented the Portuguese youth when the objects were handed over. They recount that they couldn't believe that WYD would be celebrated in their country until they had received the cross that John Paul II gave to the youth in 1984, as well as the icon of the Salus Populi Romani, patroness of Rome.

Volunteer, WYD Lisbon 2023
“I'm speechless! When I received the icon of the Blessed Mother, I felt that it was finally a reality! I felt that the meeting is set for Portugal and that this huge responsibility officially started! We were a simple delegation, but we carried all the Portuguese youth with us in our hearts.”

Volunteer, WYD Lisbon 2023
“It was a great privilege and honor to be able to represent my country and my diocese. It was a moment of great pride, and I hope that we will be able to welcome young people from all over the world the way we were welcomed here.”

To prepare to receive the WYD icons, the youth from Portugal met in the church of St. Anthony of the Portuguese in Rome. Among them was Daniela, who besides being a member of the delegation, celebrated her birthday with the pope.

Volunteer WYD Lisbon 2023
“I don't think they're coincidences. It's a gift from God. I can't believe I'm here and that I'm celebrating my birthday by receiving this image of the Blessed Mother alongside my Portuguese peers. I'm speechless!”

Details about the pilgrimage of the World Youth Day symbols through Portugal can be found at www.lisboa2023.org 

Daniel Díaz Vizzi

Translation: CT

Imágenes: JMJ Lisboa 2023

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