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Pilgrims arrive in Lisbon for World Youth Day (OSV News/Bob Roller)

After four years of waiting – one year longer than expected due to the pandemic – World Youth Day 2023 begins in Lisbon today and it promises to be unique in many ways. Source: CNA.

This is the first time WYD will take place in Portugal, the westernmost country in Europe with the oldest borders on the continent. It will be the second time that Pope Francis will visit Portugal; in 2017, he went to Fátima, one of the most visited Catholic pilgrimage sites in the world, for the centenary of the apparitions there. He will pay another visit on this trip. 

Organisers have planned for this year’s event to be the most “sustainable” WYD to date.

Pilgrims will use the first carbon footprint calculator in the history of the WYD, which will be included in the WYD Lisbon 2023 app they must install on their mobile phone when arriving in Portugal.

The calculator works on the basis of a questionnaire. By recording their activities from their points of departure for WYD to the last day of the event, pilgrims will be able to discover their estimated carbon footprint by the end of WYD, and with the help of an associated manual, they will learn how to reduce their impact. 

Music, art, and culture will be on display throughout Lisbon with more than 500 events to be held throughout the week. 

For sports lovers, the first WYD beach volleyball tournament will be held, along with other sports opportunities.

WYD2023 will be the location for the first world meeting of evangelisers and digital missionaries, including Australia’s Fr Rob Galea. The Festival of Catholic Influencers will take place on August 4, organised by The Church Listens to You project.

The image of Our Lady of Fátima, which has been venerated since 1920 in the Little Chapel of Apparitions in Fátima, will be on the altar in Parque Tejo in Lisbon for the final WYD Mass celebrated by Pope Francis on August 6. The image has only left Fátima 12 times.


8 unique things to know about World Youth Day 2023 in Lisbon (By Clara Raimundo, CNA)