World Youth Day


World Youth Day

***** Location: Rome, Worldwide
***** Season: Summer
***** Category: Humanity


Regularly in August, annually on Palm Sunday

1986 1st World Youth Day
Theme: “Always be prepared to make a defence to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you” (1Pt 3:15)

2006 21st World Youth Day
Theme: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Ps 119, 105)



The annual one (which everyone basically celebrates at home) coincides with Palm Sunday. The periodical one is celebrated every 2, 3, 4 years in one place and usually in August.

worldwide WYD celebrations with their respective host cities

1983 Rome
1987 Buenos Aires, Argentina
1989 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
1991 Czestochowa, Poland
1993 Manila, Philippines
1995 Denver, Colorado, USA
1997 Paris
2000 Rome
2002 Toronto
2005 Cologne (actually co-hosted by Cologne, Bonn, Dusseldorf and the Erft Valley communities)
(to be held in) 2008 Sydney, Australia

As a "veteran" I should describe what it looks and how it feels like, but it's beyond me. Let me just say it's far more than the Olympics. To have an average of 1 million young people walking down your streets is a challenge but also an experience any metropolis dweller wouldn't want to miss.

There's a first week where the participants (or WYD pilgrims) are hosted somewhere else in the organizing country and guests and hosts get to mutually know each other, their culture, traditions, piety etc.).

In the second week all converge toward the host city/region. It's not the "Catholic Woodstock" as sometimes dubbed by the tabloids, but a vibrant sharing of faith and joy (I should know; I've been inside). The young people have an opportunity to showcase whatever they have best in matters of faith-based art, social action etc. (Annual, "home" celebrations are similar, but more low-key and local in scope). Of course traditional Catholic devotions (Way of the Cross, Eucharistic adoration etc.) and the Mass with the Pope are a part. The final Mass
is preceded by a pilgrimage made on foot (and what an awesome sight it is).
But as I said, it's beyond my narrative abilities, really.

I should, however, conclude with a tribute to what I think is a quintessential element of the WYD: the Six-Pack.
The Six-Pack is a package containing the food ration for 6 WYD pilgrims. That's the standard. Now anybody who has any clue of how things look like during a WYD knows how unlikely it is for one to be able to stick together with other 5 people from the same group/nation. So you have to share: and it's not rare to see people from 5 continents bent over some canned tuna+sweet corn, on the same blanket. And you get to share so much more than that: insights, stories, joy...
I hear rumours that the catering for Sydney 2008 will give up the idea of Six-Packs. I hope not! Drop the Six-Packs and an essential part of the WYD spirit will be gone...

Cristian Mocanu
(the 2000-2002-2005 WYD "veteran")


World Youth Day for All

Dialogue to Challenge the Church

The Church has so much to talk about with youth, and youth have so much to share with the Church. This mutual dialogue should take place with great cordiality, clarity and courage.
(Pope John Paul II.)

“World Youth Day for All” will try to implement this dialogue!


Pope Holds Mass With One Million Pilgrims

Pope Benedict XVI sent a crowd of one million young pilgrims home happy from a gigantic open-air mass on Sunday, defying his reputation as a cold, distant pontiff who dislikes crowds.

The giant service at a former coal mine outside Cologne was the final major public appearance of Benedict's first foreign trip as pope, a trip which had been planned for Pope John Paul II.

Pilgrims from all over the world had spent the night at the site where the mass was held. Some 700,000 had attended a prayer-vigil with Benedict the night before, but the World Youth Day organizers said the numbers had swelled to "more than one million" by Sunday's mass.

© Deutsche Welle. Read more here:

Worldwide use


Welt-Jugend-Tag, Weltjugendtag

The final celebration was held at Marienfeld in the Erft valley (Germany).
For this celebration, one used an artificial hill made up of earth brought from 110 countries...

Cristian Mocanu, RO



Das Marienfeld ist eine 260 ha umfassende Ackerfläche im seit 2003 verfüllten und rekultivierten ehemaligen Braunkohletagebau Frechen, in dem von 1952 bis 1986 Braunkohle aus einer Tiefe von 250 Metern gefördert wurde. Es liegt westlich von Köln im Rhein-Erft-Kreis in Nordrhein-Westfalen.


Für die Gottesdienste wurde nach dem Spatenstich am 31. März 2005 der so genannte Papsthügel errichtet. Diese 10 m hohe Aufschüttung für den Altar taufte Joachim Kardinal Meisner auf den Namen Berg der 70 Nationen, weil dort Delegierte aus 70 Ländern zu Beginn des Jahres 2005 Erde aus ihren Ländern niedergelegt hatten. Für den Papsthügel wurden in 55 Tagen etwa 80.000 m³ Erde aufgeschüttet. Der Hügel hat eine Grundfläche von 15.000 m² und eine obere Fläche für Altar und Sitzplätze von 3.500 m², um circa 2.000 Menschen Platz zu bieten.

Nach Abschluss des Weltjugendtages wurden die Installationen rund um das Marienfeld bis Dezember 2005 zurückgebaut, der Papsthügel blieb jedoch erhalten und wird, wahrscheinlich im Rahmen eines Naherholungsgebietes, weiter genutzt werden.

© Wikipedia

Link in English

Things found on the way


World Youth Day ~
the wind scatters earth from 110 contries

World Youth Day ~
the sun warms earth from 110 contries

"chibi" (pen-name for Dennis M. Holmes)

Related words



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