World Youth Day, 2023


World Youth Day is the largest gathering of youth in the world, seeing thousands each time, and in past years, millions. Australia was fortunate enough to host WYD in Sydney, in 2008. Although its Catholic identity is clearly evident, WYD opens its doors to everyone, no matter how close to or distance from the Church they are.

WYD 2023 is approaching fast and will be a huge opportunity to attend. The last WYD was in 2019, so next year’s event will be the first post-pandemic and sees the largest time frame between two events. Lisbon, Portugal is the upcoming host, and this year’s theme is Mary arose and went with haste from Luke 1:39. This refers to Mary’s ‘yes’ to the Angel Gabriel, in accepting her responsibility of birthing the Son of God, as she rushes to tell her cousin, Elizabeth.

Are you, or know of anyone who will be 18-35 at the time of WYD 2023? Speak to your RE teachers, ministers or clergy about the possibility of going! Or view the WYD website, here.

Search ‘World Youth Day’ in the search bar of the Secondary Resource, and see what we’ve got available as resources! We hope to have these updated after Lisbon in 2023. See below all the past World Youth Day events, their location, theme and how many youths gathered for the event!

1986 Rome, Italy Always be prepared to make a defence to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you. (1Pt 3, 15) 300,000
1987 Buenos Aires, Argentina We ourselves have known and put our faith in God’s love towards ourselves. (1Jn 4:16) 900,000
1989 Santiago De Compostela, Spain I am the way, the truth, and the life. (Jn14:6) 600,000
1991 Czestochowa, Poland You have received a spirit of sonship. (Rom 8:15) 1,500,000
1993 Denver, United States I came so everyone would have my life, and have it fully. (Jn 10:10) 700,000
1995 Manila, Philippines As the Father sent me, so am I sending you. (Jn 20:21) 4,000,000
1997 Paris, France Master where do you live? Come and see. (Jn 1, 38:39) 500,000
2000 Rome, Italy Jubilee – The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. (Jn 1:14) 2,000,000
2002 Toronto, Canada You are the salt of the earth […] you are the light of the world. (Mt 5, 13:14) 800,000
2005 Cologne, Germany We have come to worship him. (Mt 2:2) 1,000,000
2008 Sydney, Australia You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses. (Acts 1:8) 500,000
2011 Madrid, Spain Planted and Built Up in Jesus Christ, Firm in the Faith. (Col 2:7) 2,000,000
2013 Rio De Janeiro, Brazil Go and make disciples among all nations. (Mt 28:19) 3,000,000
2016 Krakow, Poland Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. (Mt 5:7) 1,500,000
2019 Panama City, Panama Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me accordingly to thy word. (Lk 1:38) 700,000
2023 Lisbon, Portugal Mary arose and went with haste. (Luke 1:39)

“While it is unquestionably a religious gathering, World Youth Day is a social gathering with powerful emotions and psychological dynamics.” – Anthony Cleary


Free 30-Day Trial