Things you need to know about World Youth Day

While the official opening of World Youth Day is still days away, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from around the world are already heating up their engines to take part in this huge youth encounter often referred to as the “Catholic Woodstock.”

During those seven days, it won’t really matter if they’re left, center or right-wing Catholics. It won’t matter on what side of the liturgical wars they stand in, if they’re discerning a religious vocation, or if they simply tagged along because they thought it’d be fun.

For seven days, the quest will be much more about finding pilgrims from the furthest geographical region – Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney, Australia, told Crux last week that the right answer would be Aussies, although of course, for Australians the search will be directed somewhere else.

Here are seven facts or initiatives that are perhaps unknown about #Krakow2016:

Francis’ chasuble and the throwaway culture

Papal vestments during a visit abroad are usually the responsibility of the host country. During his visits, Francis has used liturgical clothing created for the occasion by indigenous communities, religious sisters and even inmates.

The liturgical vestments Francis will don during World Youth Day (WYD) were created for the occasion by a group of Iraqi refugee girls living in Jordan. According to their own words, the vestments were done with the “left-over materials” of their clothes collection,Made by Iraqi girls, considered a success story amidst so much suffering among Christian refugees.

“We too were thrown away by the evil men who expelled us from our land,” they wrote in a letter addressed to Francis and published by WYD’s website. “We made these vestments recycling pieces of fabric. But the beautiful things, useful to give glory to the Lord, often come from what is rejected.”

The young women were supposed to attend the event, but because of their refugee status, their visas were denied. Continue reading


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