Mary – heart of next three World Youth Days

Mary will be at the heart of the next three World Youth Days, Pope Francis says.

All three will take participants on a spiritual journey with Our Lady when she finds herself chosen by God.

World Youth Day (WYD) sees young people from all over the world work to build and strengthen the bonds of faith, friendship and hope.

Their work symbolises the union between people of different cultures and countries.

In 2017 and 2018 WYD involves diocesan-level events. The next international gathering is set for 2019 in Panama.

The international gatherings are held each three years. This year’s was in Poland.

The WYDs are themed, with three years study culminating in the international event which the Pope attends.

Where WYD for the past three years looked at the Beatitudes, the next three will focus on Chapter 1 of Luke’s Gospel.

This Chapter is about the Annunciation and includes the Magnificat.

This is Mary’s response to Elizabeth who said “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of they womb”.

When they start the new three-year cycle next year, participants will consider Mary’s words where she says: “The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name”.

In 2018, participants will contemplate the Archangel Gabriel’s opening words to Mary at the Annunciation “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found great favour with God”.

Then, in 2019 they will reflect on Mary’s reply to Gabriel: “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word”.

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