File photo of Pope Francis' previous message for young WYD participants File photo of Pope Francis' previous message for young WYD participants 

Pope to WYD participants: Lisbon 2023 a chance to grow in hope

Pope Francis sends a video message to young people registered for World Youth Day in Lisbon, Portugal, and urges them to prepare themselves to encounter others and grow in hope.

By Devin Watkins

With less than three months to go to World Youth Day (WYD), Pope Francis has sent his encouragement to participants registered for the event in Lisbon, Portugal, on 1-6 August.

In his video message released on Thursday, the Pope praised the excitement the young Catholics must feel as they prepare to travel.

“I can imagine the things you must have on your mind,” he said, “how you’re going to: make it happen, request your work or study permit, get what you need for your trip, so many concerns!”

At the same time, the Pope urged the young people to “look toward the horizon” by using their excitement and hope as a stepping stone.

Hope built on excitement

Pope Francis acknowledged that taking part in WYD is “a beautiful thing” built on the hope of events that will unfold.

“Prepare yourselves with that enthusiasm,” he told the young people. “Have hope, because one grows a lot at an event like WYD.”

They may not realize it yet, he said, but the young people can expect to discover wonderful new things as they meet people from other parts of the world and build relationships founded on common values.

Talk to grandparents before WYD

The Pope said the Church is blessed to enjoy the “strength of youth”, and so he encouraged participants in WYD to prepare well for what lies ahead.

He also shared with them a “secret” for a proper preparation.

“In order to prepare well,” he said, “it helps to look to your roots by meeting with your elders”, such as grandparents.

Participants in the upcoming WYD in Lisbon should ask their grandparents: “What do you think I must do?”

Our elders, concluded Pope Francis, “will give you wisdom.”

And he wrapped up his video message by encouraging the young people to “strive ahead”, saying he is looking forward to encountering them in Lisbon.

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04 May 2023, 13:00