By Francis Jjunju
01st August 2023
Pope Francis is heading to Lisbon in Portugal for the 37th World Youth Day the first after the Covid-19 pandemic.
The World Youth day starts today 1st – 6th August under the theme; “Mary arose and went with haste”, taken from Luke’s Gospel (1:39).
However Pope’s itinerary starting on 2nd – 6th August 2023 will see him visit among other places the Marian shrine at Fátima.
Pope Francis’s goal, especially as he heads to WYD, “is to hear the voice of young people, what they say about the church, about reality and about the world.
Vatican’s Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Paroli, says the Pope’s thoughts as he prepares to meet with, listen and speak to young people who have come from all over the world for this great feast of faith, the young people must know that they are not simply a priority, but an integral part of the Pope’s vision because “they have a contribution to give today, in understanding reality.
Church organisers are expecting about one million pilgrims from across the globe, although the Portuguese government has suggested it could be up to 1.5 million.
Around 16,000 members of law enforcement, civil protection and medical staff are being deployed for the visit, officials said.
The Holy Father’s trip to the Portuguese capital from 2 to 6 August is his 42nd international apostolic visit.