St. John Paul II and Blessed Carlo Acutis named among patrons of World Youth Day 2023

St John Paul II in 1978 Vatican Media St. John Paul II in 1978. | Vatican Media.

Pope St. John Paul II and Blessed Carlo Acutis will be among the patrons of World Youth Day 2023 in Lisbon.

Cardinal Manuel Clemente, the Patriarch of Lisbon, unveiled the new patrons on May 18, the anniversary of the Polish pope’s birth.

The 73-year-old cardinal said that the Virgin Mary would be the “patroness par excellence” of the world’s largest gathering of Catholic young people, taking place in the Portuguese capital on Aug. 1-6, 2023.

Other patrons include St. John Bosco, St. Vincent of Saragossa, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Bartholomew of Braga, and St. John de Brito.

The remaining patrons are Blessed Joanna of Portugal, Blessed João Fernandes, Blessed Maria Clara of the Child Jesus, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, Blessed Marcel Callo, and Blessed Chiara Badano.

Clemente said: “Each in their own time, the patrons of WYD Lisbon 2023 have shown that the life of Christ fills and saves young people of all times. We count on them, we leave with them.”

World Youth Day was established by Pope John Paul II in 1985. The week-long gathering usually attracts hundreds of thousands of young people.

The international event is typically held on a different continent every three years with the presence of the pope.

World Youth Day in Lisbon was initially scheduled for August 2022, but the Vatican postponed the event by a year due to the coronavirus crisis.

The bishop overseeing preparations told CNA in 2021 that the event will be an opportunity to renew hope in the wake of the pandemic.

“I wish WYD Lisbon 2023 to be from and to all the people and that it can mean an opportunity to renew the hope in the post-pandemic period,” Bishop Américo Manuel Alves Aguiar said.

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