In a press conference held earlier today in Krakow, Poland, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz presented the official logo and prayer for the 31st World Youth Day slated to take place there in 2016.
Announced by Pope Francis during the closing Mass for World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro last summer, the Krakow event is expected to draw millions, and follows the canonization of Polish Saint John Paul II earlier this spring.
World Youth Day is a gathering of young people from all over the world to pray and meet with the Pope in order to build and strengthen the bonds of faith, friendship and hope, symbolizing the union between people of different cultures and countries.
In his July 3 presentation, Cardinal Dziwisz – archbishop of Krakow and former secretary of Pope John Paul II – explained that the event’s logo has three specific elements which represent the place, the main protagonists, and the theme of the celebration.
The logo, he noted, provides an illustration of the gathering’s theme, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy,” taken from the Gospel of Matthew.
Cardinal Dziwisz went on to explain that the image is composed of a geographical outline of Poland inside of which there is a yellow cross, representing Jesus Christ, who is the soul of World Youth Day.
Also present inside the country’s outline is a yellow dot, which the cardinal revealed both marks the position of Krakow on the map and serves as symbol for the youth.
The red and blue flames, he observed, are the flames of divine mercy that emerge from the cross, which represent with their colors the phrase “Jesus, I trust in you” that accompanies the image of divine mercy revealed to Saint Maria Faustina.
Another reason for choosing the colors of yellow, red and blue is that they are the official colors of Krakow and its coat of arms, the cardinal noted.
The logo was designed by Monika Rybczynska, 28, from Poland’s small mid-west town of Ostrzeszow, following the canonization of St. John Paul II.
Cardinal Dziwisz also announced the official prayer for World Youth Day 2016, which is an entrustment of humanity and the youth to Jesus’ divine mercy, asking for the grace to obtain a merciful heart. It also invokes the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. John Paul II, who is the patron of World Youth Days.
Below please find the full text of the World Youth Day 2016 official prayer:
“God, merciful Father,
in your Son, Jesus Christ, you have revealed your love
and poured it out upon us in the Holy Spirit, the Comforter,
We entrust to you today the destiny of the world and of every man and woman”.
We entrust to you in a special way
young people of every language, people and nation:
guide and protect them as they walk the complex paths of the world today
and give them the grace to reap abundant fruits
from their experience of the Krakow World Youth Day.
grant that we may bear witness to your mercy.
Teach us how to convey the faith to those in doubt,
hope to those who are discouraged,
love to those who feel indifferent,
forgiveness to those who have done wrong
and joy to those who are unhappy.
Allow the spark of merciful love
that you have enkindled within us
become a fire that can transform hearts
and renew the face of the earth.
Mary, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.
St. John Paul II, pray for us.