Youth cheering in excitement for World Youth Day events Youth cheering in excitement for World Youth Day events  (AFP or licensors)

Young people sharing faith at World Youth Day in Lisbon

As pilgrims await their first encounter with Pope Francis in Lisbon, several young people share how they are sharing their faith with others, and forging lasting connections with their fellow Christians.

By Agnel Maria

There are 354,000 pilgrims from at least 143 countries registered for the World Youth Day in Lisbon according to the organisers.

Large groups of youth are eagerly awaiting their encounters with Pope Francis to see him in person, rather than only in pictures on TV. They are cheering and singing hymns and songs in anticipation.

Suni, a young woman from Norway, shared with Vatican News how excited she is to meet other young people who shared the same Christian beliefs.

She noted that there aren't many Christians in Norway and said that fact adds to her eagerness to make connections with young Christians of other nationalities.

Challenges and blessings

Cardinal Manuel Clemente, the Patriarch of Lisbon, has said that many young people faced many financial difficulties to attend World Youth Day, making the event even more special.

Francis  and Adanna, two young Nigerians, shared how happy they are to be attending World Youth Day this year.

Adanna said she had to pray and prepare herself to connect with others and receive God’s blessings.

The two pledged to keep praying for all the other Nigerians who were unable to attend World Youth Day.

They are hoping to take back home with them the good values and practices from different communities, along with the souvenirs they receive when they interacted with other participants.

Francis and Adanna are also looking forward in sharing their cultures and traditions with the other young people attending the event.

They and other WYD participants are looking forward to seeing Pope Francis in person at the official welcoming ceremony, which will take place at Meeting Hill (Eduardo VII Park) on Thursday.

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02 August 2023, 14:33