"Youthful Faith : A Pilgrimage with Pope Francis at World Youth Day 2023"

Nov 7 : World Youth Day 2023 was a significant Catholic festival held in Lisbon, Portugal, with approximately 354,000 pilgrims from over 185 countries and the support of 25,000 volunteers. The closing Vigil and Mass had an estimated 1.5 million attendees. The event's main patrons included figures who had taken steps towards holiness in their youth.

Activities throughout the event included the "City of Joy," which featured the Vocations Fair and the Park of Forgiveness. "Rise up Encounters" allowed pilgrims to reflect on Pope Francis' themes of Integral Ecology, Social Friendship, and Mercy. Interreligious events provided guided visits to various places of worship.

The event officially opened on August 1 with an open-air Mass, and Pope Francis arrived on August 2 for a five-day period. On August 4, a "Catholic Influencers Festival" for social media influencers was held, and the pontiff led the Stations of the Cross.

On August 5, over 1.5 million pilgrims gathered for an evening vigil with Eucharistic adoration, and Pope Francis encouraged them to be "joyous missionaries."

On August 6, Pope Francis celebrated Mass with an estimated 1.5 million attendees and announced that World Youth Day 2027 would be held in Seoul, South Korea. A special event for young people in Rome in 2025 was also planned. Pope Francis concluded with a prayer for peace, particularly for Ukraine due to the Russo-Ukrainian War.

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