13 Jul 2013

WYD 2013 - Rio de Janerio - "Go and make disciples of all nations!"

With only days to go before the beginning of WYD2013, the World Youth Day (WYD) Youth Cross and the Icon of Our Lady are currently in the host-city of WYD signifying the imminent beginning of this international festival of faith. After two years of pilgrimage around the different municipalities of Brazil, the symbols arrived in the city of Rio de Janeiro on July 6th.

The XXVIII World Youth Day will be held from 23 to 28 July 2013 in the city of Rio de Janeiro and has as its motto "Go and make disciples of all nations" (Mt 28, 19).
In 1984 the International Jubilee for the Young was celebrated by John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square in a celebration that also marked the close of the Holy Year of Redemption. At this gathering the Holy Father entrusted youth with what is now known as the World Youth Day (WYD) Cross - one of the most important symbols of WYD.

The UN declared 1985 the first “International Youth Year” and to celebrate it the Holy Father welcomed youth from all over the world in Rome on Palm Sunday. In December of the same year he announced the institution of World Youth Day. It is celebrated annually at the diocesan level on Palm Sunday in Rome and at a week-long event internationally every two to three years.
You can learn about the international WYD's HERE.
You can read more about WYD here and follow the event on their website and Facebook page.
The Theme of WYD 2013

"Go and make disciples of all nations" (Mt 28: 19).
The theme of WYD Rio2013 summons young people of Brazil and of the world to take a call to mission, living as witnesses of the Risen Christ. Taken from the end of Matthew’s gospel, the context of the theme is to respect the Resurrection of Christ. The disciples, who until then were frightened and locked inside for fear of the Jews, encounter Christ, the victor over death.

The encounter with Christ Risen encourages all to the living of this mandate. Mary Magdalene sees the empty tomb and witnesses! Peter and John believe and testify when they see the strips of linen and the cloth! The disciples of Emmaus recognize Christ in the sharing of bread and testify that Christ lives! 
It is in this context that Christ gives the mandate: Go! Go because He is alive and he walks in front of his friends. Go because Christ is victor and remains with each member of the Church. Go and announce the resurrection! 
This is what the theme of WYD Rio2013 seeks to generate in the heart of every young pilgrim. It motivates each participant to let the light of the Risen Christ dissipate the darkness of fear and doubts that paralyze. It encourages young people to be missionaries even in situations of conflict, in countries where Christians are persecuted, amid a secularized world that does not want to live Christian values. 
So this is the mandate of the Church to the Catholic youth. Go, young missionaries who trust in the Church’s Magisterium and support their faith in liturgy and life in community! Go and evangelize with your personal gifts! Go and strengthen your faith with answers and explanations about the issues that distress the world today! Go and witness the joy of the encounter with the Risen Christ at WYD Rio2013!

The WYD Cross

It is known under many names: the “Holy Year Cross”, the “Jubilee Cross”, the “WYD Cross”, the “Pilgrim Cross”. Many call it the “Youth Cross” as it was given by Pope John Paul II to young people to take around the world to every place and every age.
A large wooden Cross, 3.8 meters high, a symbol of the Christian Faith, was placed near the High Altar of Saint Peter´s Basilica during the Year of Redemption (Holy Week 1983 to Holy Week 1984). At the end of that year, after closing the Holy Door, John Paul II gave that cross to all youth as a symbol of Christ´s love. In the name of youth everywhere, it was received by the Saint Lawrence International Youth Center in Rome. The Pontiff´s words on the occasion were: "My dear young people, at the conclusion of this Holy Year, I entrust to you the sign of this Jubilee Year: the Cross of Christ! Carry it throughout the world as a symbol of Christ's love for humanity, and announce to everyone that only in the death and resurrection of Christ can we find salvation and redemption" (Rome, 22nd April 1984).
Since 1984, the WYD Cross has set out on its journey around the world, in Europe, beyond the Iron Curtain, and to the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australia, present at every WYD. Since 1994, WYD Cross has journeyed through dioceses of the host country of the next WYD.

The icon of Our Lady

In 2003, Pope John Paul II entrusted to the youth another symbol of faith to be taken all over the world with the Cross: the Icon of Our Lady, Salus Populi Romanix. This icon is a copy of a venerated icon in Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome (the first and the largest basilica in Rome dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary). "From now on it will accompany the World Youth Days, together with the Cross. Behold, your Mother! It will be a sign of Mary's motherly presence close to young people who are called, like the Apostle John, to welcome her into their lives." (Angelus, 18th World Youth Day, 13 April 2003)

The Logo for WYD 2013


The Hymn for WYD 2013

The official prayer of WYD 2013
WYD Cross at St Lorenzo Youth Centre in Rome where is is kept between WYD's
Oh Father, You sent Your Eternal Son to save the world, and You chose men and women, so that through Him, with Him and in Him, they might proclaim the Good News of the Gospel to all nations. Grant us the necessary graces, so that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the joy of being the evangelists that the Church needs in the Third Millennium may shine in the faces of all young people.

Oh Christ, Redeemer of humanity, the image of Your open arms on the top of Corcovado, welcomes all people. In Your paschal offering, You led us, by the Holy Spirit, to encounter the Father as His children. Young people, who are nourished by Eucharist, who hear You in Your Word and meet You as their brother, need your infinite mercy to walk along the paths of this world as disciples and missionaries of the New Evangelization.

Oh Holy Spirit, Love of the Father and of the Son, with the splendor of Your Truth and the fire of Your Love, shed Your Light upon all young people so that, inspired by their experience at World Youth Day, they may bring faith, hope and charity to the four corners of the earth, becoming great builders of a culture of life and peace and catalysts of a new world.

You can find out about the celestial guides (patron and intercessors) for WYD HERE.

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