World Youth Day – Pope says “I Can’t Wait!”

On 22 June, forty days before the upcoming World Youth Day (WYD) in Lisbon, Pope Francis sent a message to young people who will participate in the WYD saying: “Some think that because of illness, I cannot go, but the doctor told me I can, so I will be with you. Come on, young people!” On the same morning he spoke of some discomfort from his recent operation, but he wanted to reassure people of his presence at the great event. Showing the grey backpack with the kit that will be distributed to the pilgrims, he said: “There are 40 days left, like Lent, to the meeting in Lisbon. I am ready! I already have everything. I can’t wait to go!”

The World Youth Day organisation meanwhile released two videos: one addressed to the participants, the other to those who have been working for months to set up the organisation, welcome and accommodation for pilgrims. “The Day is a point of attraction for everyone. Right now it is the point we must look toward, toward which you young people must look,’ the Pope said. “Come on, young people!” he encouraged them, adding, “Don’t listen to those who reduce life to ideas. Those poor people who have lost the joy of life and the joy of encounter. Pray for them”. As in other meetings with the young, Francis once again asked them to approach life with “the three languages” of the head, heart, and hands: of the head to think clearly about what we feel and do; of the heart to feel well, deeply, what we think and do; of the hands to realise what we feel and think. “Come on, be cheerful. See you in Lisbon!” was his final greeting.