Now that the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims have left Lisbon, Portugal, and World Youth Day (WYD) has ended after days of inspiring and faith-filled events, we take a look back at some of the most moving moments of WYD.
1. A picture taking social media by storm is of a disabled young man being lifted by his wheelchair high above the sea of WYD attendees.
A heart-touching picture from the World Youth Day in Lisbon.
Proud to be a Catholic! pic.twitter.com/tRYgIOY6xl
— Sachin Jose (@Sachinettiyil) August 6, 2023
2. A video of Pope Francis meeting a child in a wheelchair captured the hearts of journalists in Lisbon. You can see the young boy giving the Holy Father a gift. At the end of the video, the two give one another a high-five.
This tender encounter between Pope Francis and this little child melted several journalists' hearts in Lisbon. pic.twitter.com/r1jIUvS6kd
— EWTN News (@EWTNews) August 5, 2023
3. The EWTN News team in Lisbon found a pair of sisters from Toronto, Canada, who were attending WYD for the first time. Twenty-one-year-old Aurora and 23-year-old Gloria shared that they found out about WYD being in Portugal before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and, at that time, their mother encouraged them to attend. Their mother has since passed away and the sisters decided to attend the event in her honor.
Ladies Attend WYD in Honor of Late Mother: "We Wanted to Go for Her"
Two sisters attending World Youth Day in Lisbon, Portugal this week told a beautiful story about why they journeyed to the event.
21-year-old Aurora and 23-year-old Gloria from Toronto, Canada told EWTN this… pic.twitter.com/xvX9rj4PDA
— ChurchPOP (@Church_POP) August 4, 2023
4. As part of the WYD celebrations, Pope Francis heard the confessions of three young people in Reconciliation Park on Aug. 4. He took about 10 minutes to hear the private confessions of the young people. One heartwarming photo from this experience was a young woman being embraced by the Holy Father after her confession.
Pope Francis confessed several young people this morning during WYD in Lisbon at Reconciliation Park.
Credit: Vatican Media pic.twitter.com/RI6KSkWUTX
— EWTN Vatican (@EWTNVatican) August 4, 2023
5. On Aug. 4 at the nunciature in Lisbon, Pope Francis met with Maria da Conceição Brito Mendonça, a 106-year-old woman who was born on the day of the apparitions of Fátima, May 13, 1917.
PHOTO OF THE DAY: Pope Francis briefly met a 106-year-old lady, Maria da Conceição Brito Mendonça, who was born on the day of the apparitions in Fatima, May 13, 1917. The lovely woman visited him in the Nunciature in Lisbon. #WYD2023 #Lisboa2023
📷 Vatican Media pic.twitter.com/Wt7iUWjXn2
— Catholic News Agency (@cnalive) August 4, 2023
6. ACI Digital, CNA’s Portuguese-language news agency, shared the beautiful story of Carlos Wilson da Silva, 30, and Angélica Jesus Macedo, 35, who got engaged on Aug. 3 at the shrine of Fátima, Portugal. The engagement proposal was a surprise for the bride and for everyone who was there. “It’s very exciting, I didn’t imagine that he would ask me in front of the shrine. And I am so devoted to Our Lady of Fátima,” Angélica said. The couple is from Brazil, from Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Águas Claras. They attended WYD with a group of 99 people.
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7. Pope Francis paid a heartfelt visit to Fátima on Aug. 5. While he was there, he prayed the rosary with young people with disabilities and placed a bouquet of roses and a golden rosary at the feet of the statue of Our Lady of Fátima. “Dear brothers and sisters, today let us feel the presence of Mother Mary, the mother who will always tell us, ‘Do whatever Jesus tells you.’ She points us to Jesus,” the pope said.
Pope Francis paid a heartfelt visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal for the second time in his pontificate. He stayed in his wheelchair but brought flowers to the Marian image and prayed the Rosary along with thousands of pilgrims. pic.twitter.com/SpkQGzLrrn
— EWTN News (@EWTNews) August 5, 2023
8. In front of an estimated 800,000 people, Pope Francis shared a powerful message to the youth during the Stations of the Cross on Aug. 4. He said: “We’ve all cried in life and continue to do so. Jesus is with us; he cries with us and accompanies us in the darkness that leads to tears. With tenderness, he wipes our tears.”
🎥VIDEO | Pope Francis at #WYD #Lisbon2023 Way of the Cross: We've all cried in life and continue to do so. Jesus is with us, He cries with us, and accompanies us in the darkness that leads to tears. With tenderness, He wipes our tears. He wants to fill our fears with His… pic.twitter.com/dCI1aqP7XI
— EWTN Vatican (@EWTNVatican) August 5, 2023
9. Pope Francis ended WYD at a Mass with an estimated 1.5 million people. However, before he left, he had a public address with the nearly 25,000 volunteers who kept the international event running from start to finish. One particular photo from the meeting stood out — a young volunteer gave the pope a warm embrace.
10. Another moving moment from the closing Mass of WYD was Pope Francis saying farewell to Lisbon by praying at the feet of the pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fátima, which was brought directly from the sanctuary to the closing Mass. Pope Francis told the youth: “Dear young people, I would like to look into the eyes of each one of you and tell you: Be not afraid, be not afraid.”
📸 PHOTO OF THE DAY
Pope Francis has said farewell to #WYD praying at the feet of the Pilgrim Statue of the Virgin of Fatima, brought directly from the sanctuary. For #Seoul2027, the Holy Father will be a youthful 90 years of age. Let us pray for him!
Credit: Vatican Media pic.twitter.com/E5otLmMuxq
— Catholic News Agency (@cnalive) August 6, 2023