The Holy Father has announced that Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is the 2013 site for World Youth Day (WYD). Thus, from 23 to 28 July 2013, the Corcovado’s giant statue of the Christ the Redeemer will welcome in its symbolic embrace young people from all over the world – including here in Charleston – for the next international installment of WYD.
The Catholic Pilgrim Office has finalized its arrangements for all its pilgrimages for this blessed event. West Virginia youths of all faiths interested in attending this event should click here for more information.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations!” (Matthew 28:19) Rejoice in the Lord always; “Go and make disciples of all nations: These are the themes chosen for the next two World Youth Days – the first taking place on Palm Sunday 2012 in the individual dioceses and the second from 23 to 28 July 2013 in Rio de Janeiro.
Just before leaving Madrid last week, the Pope announced that the next site is Rio de Janeiro and that the event there would take place one year ahead of the normal planning period for World Youth Days because in 2014 Brazil is set to host the world championship for European football, according to L’OSSERVATORE ROMANO.
The Holy Father said, “We want to show that Rio is not just sports and carnivals. Our day should be an opportunity for those of our young people who are afflicted with problems like poverty, violence and drugs”.
WYD is a youth-oriented Catholic Church event. While the event itself celebrates the Catholic faith, attendance is open to all youth, regardless of religious convictions. WYD is a major part of the upsurge in Catholic Youth Work in some countries over recent years.
The event was initiated by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1985. It is celebrated diocesan level annually, and at a week-long international level every two to three years at different locations. The international level events attract hundreds of thousands of youth from almost every country on the planet. The Patron Saint of World Youth Days is Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Since his beatification, Pope John Paul II, who started the event, has become its co-patron.
Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in Brazil and is located on the South Atlantic coast. Its harbor is comprised of a unique entry from the ocean that makes it appear as the mouth of a river. Additionally, the harbor is surrounded by spectacular geographic features, including Sugar Loaf Mountain, Corcovado Peak, and the hills of Tijuca. These features work together to collectively make the harbor one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
Sources: Religious News Services and L’OSSERVATORE ROMANO