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More than 300,000 register for World Youth Day 2023

World Youth Day 2016

Bubutu | Shutterstock

Poznan, POLAND - JULY 24, 2016: pilgrims praying, dancing and singing during Days In Dioceses just before The World Youth Day in Krakow

J-P Mauro - published on 07/06/23

The largest gathering of Catholic young people with Pope Francis is shaping up to be a grand affair in Lisbon, Portugal, this August.

World Youth Day (WYD) 2023, to be held in Lisbon, Portugal, is already shaping up to be a grand affair. Just one month from the popular Catholic gathering, the official website of WYD has announced that more than 313,000 pilgrims have registered to attend. While these post-pandemic numbers are lower than those of past WYDs, they demonstrate the desire of young people to return to normalcy and celebrate the Catholic faith.

The triennial event was originally supposed to take place during the summer of 2022, with the last WYD held in 2019 in Panama. The endurance of the pandemic, however, forced organizers to postpone the event until 2023. Now, as we inch closer to the August 1-6 event, organizers are sharing their excitement in numbers.

The country with the most registered attendees is neighboring Spain (58,531), followed by Italy (53,803), France (41,055), Portugal (32,771) and the United States of America (14,435).

Catholics of Portugal have come together to offer accommodations for many of these foreign visitors. Organizers report that 24,198 host families have agreed to open their doors to pilgrims to give them a place to stay, with 7,138 of these in Lisbon, Santarém and Setúbal: the Dioceses of Reception.

To feed this massive group of pilgrims, the WYD Lisbon 2023 Foundation has arranged for more than three million meals, which will go to the estimated 90% (290,000) of attendees who requested them. The entire event will be run by 22,282 volunteers who hail from 143 countries. These volunteers were selected from those attendees who indicated on their registration form that they would like to help out. There will be an additional 500 volunteers with medical training who will provide first aid for pilgrims throughout the week.

On the clerical side, there are 737 bishops who are registered to attend WYD, 29 of whom are cardinals. In addition to the prelates, some 2,600 priests are registered to attend, with many of them volunteering to offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the Reconciliation Park. Pilgrims will be offered confession in at least five different languages: Portuguese, English, French, Spanish, and Italian. When celebrating Mass, members of the clergy will all be adorned in special vestments commissioned for the occasion.

These numbers could increase, as there is usually a large group of pilgrims who show up without having registered. However, registration for World Youth Day 2023 is still open for individuals and groups. Click here to learn more about how to attend the largest Catholic gathering of young people around the world with Pope Francis.

CatholicPortugalWorld Youth Day
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