with International Youth Day or any of the international observance days.
This year the theme of WYD is "Go and make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19)". The World Youth Day events have been spaced three years apart since 2002, but the Rio de Janeiro World Youth Day will be held in 2013. Father Lombardi said the change was made to avoid the youth event coinciding with the FIFA World Cup, which will be held in Brazil in 2014 and the 2016 Olympic Games will be also held in the city.
To understand one aspect of the importance of World Youth Day, some knowledge of the history would assist.
History of World Youth Day
In 1984 the International Jubilee for the Young was celebrated by John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square in a celebration that also marked the close of the Holy Year of Redemption. At this gathering the Holy Father entrusted youth with what is now known as the World Youth Day (WYD) Cross - one of the most important symbols of WYD.
The UN declared 1985 the first “International Youth Year” and to celebrate it the Holy Father welcomed youth from all over the world in Rome on Palm Sunday. In December of the same year he announced the institution of World Youth Day. It is celebrated annually at the diocesan level on Palm Sunday in Rome and at a week-long event internationally every two to three years. Here are links to some of the World Youth Days of the past
- 2 World Youth Days 1987 to 1993
- 3 World Youth Days 1995 to 2005
- 4 World Youth Day 2008
- 5 World Youth Day 2011
- 6 World Youth Day 2013
- 7 Chronology of celebrations
- 8 Typical schedule of events
See the attached links for the history and details on the local organising committee.