World Youth Day Lisbon

Hundreds of thousands of young people from around the World have gathered in Lisbon at the invitation of Pope Francis to celebrate World Youth Day 2023.

The week-long event brings together young to join the Pope for very special times of prayer and reflection. It is a festival of faith on a grand scale with every nationality represented. Lisbon is awash with music, song and colour as the young people move through the streets in the coloured shirts, waving their national flags.

Capuchins Brother Bryan Shortall (National Director of Padre Pio Ministry) and Brother Antony Kurian (Vocations Director) joined a pilgrimage of young religious organised by the Association of Missionaries and Religious in Ireland ( AMRI) – directed by Gerard Gallagher of AMRI.

Brother Bryan and Brother Antony plan the day ahead

Brother Antony with two OFM Friars from Galway

One of the highlights of any World Youth Day is the prayer Vigil with the Pope. At the Vigil, the pilgrims join in a time of Eucharistic Adoration followed by an all night sleep out and Vigil that culminates the following morning with the final Mass. At the final Mass, the host country for the next WYD in 2025 will be announced.

Pope Francis hears confession of the young pilgrims

So far the Pope has assured the pilgrims that there is room for everyone in the church and encouraged them to connect with the powerful prayer of Adoration. Pope Francis also spent time hearing confessions alongside other priests and led the Stations of the Cross in Central Lisbon. At the stations he reminded all gathered that the cross is the mark of God’s love for each and every one of us and that we must realise that it was for you and me that Jesus walked to Calvary.

Let us pray that the love, joy, positivity and faith generated by this gathering of the young Church will spill out into the World and bring renewal to our parishes and communities.



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