Krakow, Poland, Jul 31, 2016 / 02:28 am
On Sunday Pope Francis officially closed WYD in Krakow, thanking the thousands of youth who traveled across the world to participate, and announced that the next global encounter will take place in Panama.
"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.