Pope Announces Panama Will Host Next WYD in 2019

The venue for next World Youth Day (WYD) will be in Panama.

So said Pope Francis on Sunday when he officially closed WYD in Krakow, thanking the thousands of youth who traveled across the world to participate.

“I am happy to announce that the next World Youth Day — after the two that will be held on the diocesan level — will take place in 2019 in Panama,” the Pope said July 31.

He made the announcement after celebrating the closing Mass for the July 26-31 WYD event in Krakow, and before leading youth in the traditional Marian Angelus prayer.

Rumors on where the next WYD would take place centered primarily on either Asia or Africa in the lead-up to the Krakow gathering, making the announcement of Panama to a certain extent unexpected, at least among the youth.

However, according to one local, the country could use it.

Aquilino, 40, from Panama City, was leading a group of youth from his hometown during the Krakow encounter.

He told CNA in an interview that for him, the biggest takeaway from the event has been “faith and love,” which he said are badly needed both by his home country of Panama and by the whole world.

Events like WYD, he said, “show to the world the unity of the Church, and the strength of the youth of the world.

It’s very important that people around the world can see what has happened here.” Read more

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