Lisbon is preparing to receive a truly sacred event this summer – World Youth Day. It is a city of contrasts, where ancient cathedrals sit side by side with trendy cafés and street art.
The Pope’s visit takes place from August 2nd to 6th and brings with it numerous visitors, which promises to leave a positive impact on Portuguese youth. World Youth Day (WYD) takes place in Parque Tejo, in the Nations’ Park area, and it is estimated that this event will bring 1.2 million young people to Lisbon.
Although his health is weak, doctors have given the green light for Pope Francis to travel and participate in WYD.
Whether you’re a devout Catholic or simply a traveler curious about the fusion of faith and culture, enjoy the holy summer in Lisbon.
Who’s Pope Francis?
Pope Francis, whose name is Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was born on December 17th, 1936, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Francis is the first Latin American, Jesuit pope to use the name “Francis”.
The son of an accountant father and a domestic mother, he graduated as a chemical technician and later chose the path of the priesthood.
Between 1964 and 1966 he worked as a teacher in two colleges.
In 1969 he was consecrated a priest by Archbishop Ramón José Castellano. Continuing his teaching career until he became rector of two more colleges, Cardinal Antonio Quarracino invited him to be his close collaborator in Buenos Aires.
On May 20th, 1992, John Paul II appointed him titular bishop of Auca and auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires. Later, in 1998, he was named Archbishop of Argentina. In 2001, he earned the title of Cardinal-presbyter of St. Robert Bellarmine.
Finally, on March 13th, 2013, he was elected Pope, the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church, succeeding Pope Benedict XVI.
What is World Youth Day?
WYD is a religious event founded by Pope John Paul II on December 20th, 1985. The first edition was held in Rome in 1986.
WYD is a meeting between the Pope and young people from all over the world. It is also a pilgrimage, a youth festival, an expression of the universal church and a moment of evangelization for the younger generation.
On January 27th, 2019, it was announced that Pope Francis chose Lisbon to host the next edition of World Youth Day. This choice is motivated by the city’s precious religious and cultural history, which dates back centuries, evidenced by its beautiful churches, monasteries and cathedrals.
A holy summer
The Pope is the spiritual leader of the Catholic Church and this visit brings with it a divine energy and a message of hope. For Catholics, it is a unique opportunity to connect with their faith and receive the papal blessing.
As the Pope’s arrival draws closer, anticipation is growing and locals are eagerly preparing for the occasion. From the construction of the stage in Parque Tejo to the Altar-Palco in Eduardo VII Park, everything is prepared in detail.
In the Tejo-Trancão Park is the altar stage where the vigil and the sending-off Mass presided by the Holy Father will take place. A secondary stage is set up in Eduardo VII Park, where three central events of WYD will take place: the opening Mass, the welcoming ceremony and the Way of the Cross.
In addition, WYD will take place elsewhere in Lisbon:
– In Belém, the City of Happiness will be installed in Vasco da Gama Garden;
– The Youth Festival that “offers more than three hundred events in more than 100 spaces in the city, including stages, auditoriums, cinemas, theaters, museums, exhibition spaces and church”, according to the Lisbon City Council. Some of these events will take place in Commerce Square, Alameda D. Afonso Henriques and Belavista Park.
This event brings pilgrims from all over the world to Lisbon and therefore brings with it inspiring stories of hope, overcoming and faith.
The impact for Lisbon
The Pope’s arrival in Lisbon is an event of great significance for the city and the region’s faithful. The presence of the world’s most important religious leader brings with it an aura of significance and importance, not only for the city, but also for the country as a whole.
The visit of the Vatican’s current head of state has a profound impact on the city’s identity, reinforcing its connection with religion and highlighting the importance of spirituality in the lives of young people.
In addition, the presence of visitors from abroad brings a significant economic impact to Lisbon. Restaurants, hotels and stores alike will benefit from their arrival, boosting the city’s economy. The Pope’s visit is also a “boost” for tourism, especially for those who wish to experience the unique atmosphere the city has to offer.
The itinerary of Pope Francis’ visit
Pope Francis’ visit to Lisbon attracts a variety of visitors from all over the world and the city is preparing to welcome them with great hospitality and enthusiasm. The diversity of people creates an environment of cultural exchange, where young people have the opportunity to interact with people from different backgrounds and perspectives.
During WYD, the Pope will certainly meet with refugee students, representatives of other religions, victims of sexual abuse in the Church and volunteers of the event.
If you want to know the details of the current Vatican head of state’s journey and the times of each event, click here.