Big gamble: World Youth Day (WYD) in Lisbon at the beginning of August will be canceled if Pope Francis cannot attend. This was stated by the organizers of the Catholic meeting, according to the portal ACI Digital (Friday) when the program was introduced. Pope Francis underwent intestinal surgery on Wednesday. The 86-year-old is still being treated at the Gemelli Clinic in Rome.
World Youth Day is a meeting of the Pope with the youth of the world, explained the President of the WYD Lisbon 2023 Foundation, Auxiliary Bishop Americo Aguiar. So it always happens only with the Pope himself, “regardless of possible material limitations.” Nobody sees in any way that the Pope represents anyone else. So, according to the bishop, there is no Plan B, only Plan F for Francis.
Meetings with representatives of politics, church and youth
International Youth Day will be held in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, from August 1 to 6, and more than a million young people from all over the world are expected to attend. Pope Francis wants him to be there August 2-6. The Vatican released the planned program on Tuesday. After the usual meetings with representatives of the country’s politics and church on the first day of the voyage, meetings with young people were to the fore; Including students at Catholic University or participants in the Pontifical Training Programme. Francis is also scheduled to meet representatives of aid organizations.
On the second day of the trip, the Pope will officially open World Youth Day. The party will take place Thursday night in the largest park in the Portuguese capital. The next day, according to the program, Francis offers confession opportunities to some of the young people and has lunch with the young people. He also participates in the Trail of the Cross in the evenings. The 37th World Youth Day will conclude with the evening service on Saturday and the mass on Sunday morning.
On Saturday, Francis is scheduled to make a short trip to the Marian pilgrimage site in Fatima. Portugal’s most famous pilgrimage site is just under 130 kilometers north of Lisbon. There, in 1917, three shepherds reported that Mary, the Mother of God, had appeared to them several times. During his visit, the Pope will pray with sick youths in the Chapel of the Apparition at the shrine. (KNA)