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Pope thanks families hosting youths participating in WYD 2023

  • Religion

Pope Francis sends a video message to Portuguese families who will welcome in their homes the thousands of youths expected at WYD Lisbon 2023, saying their generous hospitality also shows openness to other horizons.

By Lisa Zengarini

Following his video message addressed last week to young people preparing to participate in World Youth Day in Lisbon, Pope Francis has also thanked Portuguese families who will welcome them in their homes during the event.

Over 400,000 young people from across the world have already registered to take part in the WYD on 1-6 August 2023.

Opening to new horizons

In a video message released on Wednesday,  the Pope remarked that by welcoming them in their homes, they not only show generosity, but, most importantly, openness to people of other cultures and to new horizons.

“These young people – he said – will certainly bring some inconvenience” and additional “work to your households, but they will leave the seed of another point of view, and will ‘relativize’ each one of you and the many certainties you think you have, making you see that, in other places, things can be different. They will ‘universalize’ you”.

“Young foreigners say that the richest experiences are those of the families who welcomed them. And you will be left with the certainty that you can be a Christian in a different way, with another culture, with another point of view. This means ‘universalizing’, opening up to the horizon.”

Pope Francis therefore thanked the Portuguese families for their generous hospitality, which he said, will involve an effort, but will also leave “a gaze at the horizon that lies beyond our small limits and boundaries, be they geographical, cultural or spiritual”.

The 38th WYD

This year’s World Youth Day will be the 38th since the first WYD was launched  by Pope St. John Paul Il on 1984 in Rome. The last one was held in Panama in 2019.

The motto for WYD 2023 is “Mary arose and went with haste”, taken from Luke’s Gospel.

13 patron saints will accompany young people during their journey toward and during the event.

In his message to participants on January 20, Pope Francis expressed his joy at learning that more than 400,000 have already registered. Noting that WYD brings together people from many walks of life and cultures,  he encouraged participants to open their hearts to those they will meet and to new horizons

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