World Youth Day is just around the corner and pilgrims from all over the world are finalizing their preparations.
One of them is selling sweatshirts to pay for the trip.
In December, I started selling baked goods in front of my parish and with that, I was able to make the first payment. Then, before Easter, an Instagram account contacted me to collaborate with them to sell sweatshirts so I could make the next World Youth Day payment.
And in Rome, youth groups like the Italian Scouts Federation, are spiritually preparing for the big event.
We are going there with the intention of being pilgrims.
I'm very excited—from the moment we heard that it was going to be in Lisbon we immediately decided we would go. So since then, we've been constantly preparing for this WYD.
I made a spiritual journey with Friar Basito, from Palestrina, Italy. He helped me understand myself and my heart and how to able to help others to be authentic. I hope to be able to offer others my authenticity and in turn, to receive the authenticity of others.
Some of these scouts have already participated in other World Youth Days, such as the one in Krakow.
ARIANNA DI PIETRO
The other WYD where Pope Francis was present was very powerful. I still remember it. So I think it will be like that this time too. I imagine he will ask us to look at the world and try to understand what we can do to improve it.
Krakow was the last World Youth Day in Europe and it left an impact on many young people.
Every WYD had an special message from God to us. A message on a family level, to the whole Church or to the young people and also on a personal level. WYD in Poland was about mercy.
Some of the participants in World Youth Day say the experience changed the way they live their faith. For Isa, it was the discovery that God can also be found in the little things of everyday life.
God really uses those little moments everyday to reach us and to help us be happy. When I came back from World Youth Day, it changed everything.
The theme of World Youth Day Lisbon is centered on the Virgin Mary after her personal encounter with God during the Annunciation. From that moment on, Mary's life and faith were forever changed.
Pope Francis explains that the objective in Lisbon is to foster that special encounter between young people and God.