World Youth Day in Lisbon, Pope Francis: “Do not be afraid, the world needs you”. Next WYD in Seoul in 2027


By John

Pope Francis arrived at Parque Tejo for the Mass at the conclusion of the 37th World Youth Day. After making a few rounds in the popemobile among the young people, at 9 am (10 in Italy), the Pontiff presides over the Eucharistic celebration, in which the Patriarch of Lisbon, Cardinal Manuel Clemente, will pronounce words of thanks. At the end of the mass, after the greeting address of the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, Cardinal Kevin Joseph Farrell, Pope Francis will hand over the WYD crosses to some representatives of young people from the five continents and will announce the See and the year in which the next World Youth Day will take place.
In the afternoon, before his departure for Rome, the Pontiff will hold his last public meeting, the one with the WYD volunteers at the «Passeio maritimo» in Alges.

Shine, listen and fear not

“Dear young people, I would like to look each of you in the eye and say to him: do not be afraid! Do not be afraid! But I tell you something much more beautiful: Jesus himself is now looking at you, He knows each of you, He knows the heart of each of you and here on this World Youth Day he says to you: ‘Do not be afraid, do not be afraid. So Pope Francis in the homily of the closing mass of the WYD. The Pontiff indicated three verbs: shine, listen and fear not.
“To you, young people – the Pontiff said – who cultivate big dreams but often clouded by the fear of not seeing them come true; to you, young people, who sometimes think you can’t make it; to you, young people, tempted in this time to discourage yourselves, to judge yourselves inadequate or to hide your pain by masking it with a smile; to you, young people, who want to change the world – and that’s fine – and fight for justice and for peace; to you, young people, who put your effort and imagination into it but it seems to you that they are not enough; to you, young people, whom the Church and the world need like the land of rain; to you, young people, who are the present and the future; yes, precisely to you, young people, Jesus says: ‘Do not be afraid!'”. And Francis invited us to observe a minute of silence to “repeat ‘do not be afraid’ in your heart”.

A thought for Ukraine

The Pope also addressed a thought to the young people who “were unable to come” to the WYD “because of conflicts and wars. There are many in the world. Thinking of this continent, I feel great pain for dear Ukraine, which continues to suffer greatly. Friends, allow me, an old man, to share with you young people a dream that I carry inside: it is the dream of peace, the dream of young people who pray for peace, live in peace and build a future of peace”. “Going home, please continue to pray for peace. You are a sign of peace to the world, a testament to how nationalities, languages ​​and histories can unite rather than divide. You are the hope of a different world.”

Upcoming events

The next World Youth Day will be held in Seoul, South Korea, in 2027. This was announced by the Pope himself at the end of the mass in Parque Tejo at the end of the WYD in Lisbon. Young Catholics from all over the world were first invited by the Pope to Rome where in 2025 the Youth Jubilee will be celebrated.