The Pope’s Prayer Intention for August: World Youth Day

August marks the beginning of a new monthly prayer intention from Pope Francis’ Worldwide Prayer Network. The mission of the Pope’s prayer network is to mobilise Catholics through prayer and action in response to the challenges facing humanity and the mission of the Church. 

In conjunction with the opening of World Youth Day on Tuesday this week in Lisbon, Portugal, this month’s prayer intention and Pope Video (below) focuses on the fundamental role of young people in the life of the Church and the world. With the motto “Mary arose and went with haste” (Luke 1:39), Pope Francis will encourage each young pilgrim to follow the example of Mary to “set out on a journey, in haste, to help” others. Pope Francis entrusts to young people the task of building “a world where love is at the centre, where we can sense that we are sisters and brothers”.  

What is World Youth Day?

World Youth Day is the gathering of young people from all over the world with the Pope. It is also a pilgrimage, a celebration of youth, an expression of the universal Church and an intense moment of evangelisation for the youth of today’s world. World Youth Day (WYD) opens its doors to everyone, no matter how close to or distant from the Church they are.  

It aims to provide all participants with a universal Church experience, fostering a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. With young people as its protagonists, WYD also seeks to promote peace, unity and fraternity among peoples and nations around the world.

Over the course of a week, young people from all over the world are welcomed, mainly in public and parish facilities or family homes. In addition to the moments of prayer, sharing and leisure, young people participate in various initiatives organised by the WYD team, in different locations across the host city. The highlights are the celebrations for which the Pope is present, such as the welcoming and opening ceremony, the Way of the Cross, the vigil and, on the last day, the closing mass.

More than 2500 Australian pilgrims, accompanied by numerous Australian Bishops, have travelled to Lisbon and gathered together on Tuesday to celebrate their faith and their homeland, where they were both blessed and commissioned.

Let us pray with all pilgrims gathered this week in Lisbon, who act as proof that the Catholic Church is truly alive and well and that by God’s grace, they will do great things.

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