Panama City, Panama, Jan 28, 2019 / 10:22 am America/Denver (CNA).
The 15th international World Youth Day ended Sunday with a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis attended by hundreds of thousands of young people from around the world.
At the end of the Jan. 27 Mass, it was announced that the next World Youth Day will be held in Lisbon, Portugal in 2022. Portuguese president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was in attendance, as well as several other political leaders from throughout Central America.
The official count for the attendance at the final Mass has not yet been released, but the park had an official capacity of 700,000.
Despite the large crowds, the Mass had far fewer people attending than previous World Youth Days. In 2016’s Krakow gathering, the final Mass attendance was estimated at 2.5 million. Even more Catholics showed up for the final Mass on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro - about 3 million.
Ola, a pilgrim from Poland, told CNA after the final Mass in Panama that she didn’t feel as though this World Youth Day was “smaller” than the one held in her home country, and that she enjoyed the difference in the cultures of Panama and Poland.