(Lisbon, Portugal) The much-awaited World Youth Day came to an emotional conclusion in Lisbon, as millions of young Catholics from around the globe gathered for the closing Mass presided over by Pope Francis at 9.00 am at the venue of Tejo Trancão Park. This historic event marked a celebration of faith, unity, and hope for the future of the Church.
During the closing Mass, Pope delivered a powerful message to the youth, encouraging them to be agents of positive change in the world. At the concluding Mass for this year’s World Youth Day, Pope Francis echoed the words of the Apostles who witnessed the Transfiguration of Christ on the Mount: “It is good for us to be here!”
At the same time, he challenged the young people to ask themselves, “What will we take back with us to the valley of our daily lives?” Drawing on the day’s Gospel, the Holy Father proposed three verbs: to shine, to listen, and to be unafraid.
The Pope announced a special Jubilee of Youth to be held in Rome in the year 2025, inviting young Catholics to come together again and celebrate their faith. This Jubilee will serve as a unique occasion for reflection, prayer, and spiritual renewal, providing young people with an opportunity to deepen their relationship with God and the Church.
Exciting news also came during the closing ceremony, as Pope Francis announced that the next World Youth Day would take place in 2027 in Seoul, South Korea. The faithful around the world expressed their joy and anticipation as they look forward to experiencing the vibrant culture, rich traditions, and warm hospitality of South Korea.
As the curtains closed on this memorable event, we express our gratitude to Fr. Rui Santiago, CSsR., the Provincial Superior of Portugal, Confreres of Parish Church of the Holy Redeemer at Damaia and the confreres of the host parish of the Alphonsia day at the Parish Church of Our Lady Mother of God of Buraca and all the Redemptorist confreres who worked tirelessly to welcome the pilgrims and successfully carry out all the programs. Their dedication and commitment ensured that World Youth Day in Lisbon would leave a lasting impact on the hearts of millions.
In a heartwarming gesture, many participants took the opportunity to offer prayers of thanks to God for the wonderful experience of being part of World Youth Day in Lisbon. This event has provided a unique space for young Catholics to connect, share, and grow in their faith, transcending borders and language barriers to create an atmosphere of unity and solidarity.
The streets of Lisbon reverberated with a spirit of joy and hope, as pilgrims from different corners of the world bid farewell to each other with promises to stay connected and continue supporting one another in their faith journeys. With the commissioning of Holy Mass, World Youth Day 2023 concluded, leaving behind cherished memories and a renewed sense of purpose for the young participants.
As they depart, these young Catholics carry with them the profound message of beloved Pope Francis, the anticipation of the upcoming Jubilee of Youth in Rome, and the excitement for the next World Youth Day in South Korea. They are inspired to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, making a positive difference in their communities and beyond, and becoming the driving force for a better tomorrow.
The World Youth Day in Lisbon has been a transformative and unforgettable experience for all involved. It has strengthened the faith of countless young people, fostering a sense of global community and empowering them to face the challenges of the future with love, compassion, and hope in their hearts. As they return to their homes, they carry the light of World Youth Day with them, illuminating the path ahead with their newfound faith and determination.