Pope John Paul II to be Patron Saint of World Youth Day

When Pope Francis canonizes Blessed John Paul II on Divine Mercy Sunday, he will also proclaim him patron saint of World Youth Day, according to L’Osservatore Romano, which is a highly reliable source.

Of course it was Pope John Paul II who announced World Youth Day in 1985, and the first World Youth Day was held the following year. The International World Youth Days, usually 2-3 years apart, are interspersed with gatherings on Palm Sunday at the Vatican.

Gathering with the World Youth Day Cross in Saint Peter's Square
Gathering with the World Youth Day Cross in Saint Peter’s Square
(photo courtesy San Lorenzo Centre)

In addition, the World Youth Day Cross is taken to Saint Peter’s square every Friday afternoon as young people from around the world gather to pray.  It is kept in the nearby San Lorenzo Center, which is a gathering place for young people who are visiting, living or studying in Rome.  It offers Masses and adoration as well as other activities.

The next worldwide celebration take place in Krakow in 2016.