From 27 to 31 July, Pope Francis will be on a pastoral visit in Poland, on the occasion of the second World Youth Day of his pontificate (the 31st since it was instituted by John Paul II). He announced it would have been held in Krakow three years ago, at the end of the celebration of the final Mass of the World Youth Day in Rio, in Brazil, attended by about three million members.
This year’s topic comes from the Beatitudes: “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy (Mt 5,7)” is in line with this Extraordinary Holy Year. In fact, the WYD 2016 is also called “the Jubilee of young people.” It is the third time that the global gathering of Catholic youth overlaps with the Jubilee. It had happened in 1984 and 2000.
“The only way to overcome evil is mercy,” wrote the Holy Father in his Message for World Youth Day, published in September. And he added: “Justice and mercy must go hand in hand.”
Pope Bergoglio will be moving in a tram between the various places where the events in the program will take place, accompanied by children and people with disabilities, as the Holy See reported to the governor of the region, Jozef Pilch, last May. He will receive the City keys as a gift. The Campus of Mercy will host the Vigil and the Final Mass. Over two million pilgrims are awaited.
The first scheduled event will be hosted in the central lawn of Krakow, Blonia, which covers approximately 45 hectares. Young Poles have been preparing for a long time to this important event. Among other pastoral initiatives, for example, many of them have followed the spiritual program sponsored by the local diocese “Heart 2.0”, for a theological and catechetical in-depth study of the Redemption Sacraments and of the Eucharist.
On Sunday 10, 17 and July 24, Pope Francis will recite the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square. In July, the prayer intention – wanted by the Holy Father – is “indigenous peoples, whose identity and even existence are threatened, must be respected.