World News

World Youth Day Fast Facts

Posted July 19, 2013

Here's some background information about World Youth Day, a day when Catholic youth and young adults between ages 16-35 gather to celebrate their faith.

July 22-27, 2019 - World Youth Day is scheduled to be held in Panama City, Panama.

Facts: World Youth Day was created by Pope John Paul II after large turnouts at the 1984 Jubilee of Young People and the 1985 gathering for the International Year of Youth in Rome.

It is celebrated every two to three years with a large international gathering, and on off years, there is a smaller celebration in Rome.

Attendees spend time visiting the host country, performing community service, visiting dioceses, and participating in festival events.

Papal Mass is held on the closing Sunday of the event.

Past World Youth Festivals: 1986 - Rome, Italy

1987 - Buenos Aries, Argentina

1989 - Santiago de Compostela, Spain

1991 - Czestochowa, Poland

1993 - Denver, Colorado

August 21-24, 1997Paris, FranceOver 500,000 attendeesOver 1 million attended mass at Longchamps Race Track.Pope at mass: "there is more to life than films and pop music."

January 14-16, 1995Manila, Philippines450,000 attendeesUp to 5 million attended mass.Pope had to use a helicopter to get to the stage.

August 15-20, 2000Rome, ItalyOver 2 million attendeesDubbed the "Catholic Woodstock" Featured concerts and prayer services.300 portable confessionals were set up around the Colosseum and Circus Maximus arena.2000 priests were on hand to hear confessions in over 30 languages.

July 23-28, 2002Toronto, Canada800,000 attended mass presided by the Pope.

August 16-21, 2005Cologne, Germany400,000 attend

July 15-20, 2008Sydney, Australia. Pope Benedict XVI makes his first trip to Australia to deliver the final Mass at the gathering.500,000 attend

August 16-21, 2011Madrid, Spain1,400,000-2,000,000 attendeesSpain is the first country besides Italy to host WYD for a second time.

July 23-28, 2013Rio de Janeiro, Brazil3 million attend the final Mass.

July 25-31, 2016Krakow, Poland2.5 to 3 million attend the final Mass.


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