2016 - KRAKÓW, POLAND – POPE FRANCIS
Following the example of his predecessors St. John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Pope Francis addressed the young people and participants for the first time in WYD Cracow 2016 from the balcony of the Archbishop's Palace. Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and a rose accompanied Pope Francis during his journey through the Polish streets aboard the pope mobile.
2013 - RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – POPE FRANCIS
The staff from Rio de Janeiro’s Municipal Cleaning Company (Comlurb) was surprised by the ecological consciousness of the WYD pilgrims. Instead of finding rubbish scattered all over the beach, as seen in other mass events, Comlurb employees found the trash packed in plastic bags and collected them at designated locations.
2011 - MADRID, SPAIN – POPE BENEDICT XVI
To conclude WYD in Madrid, a vocational encounter of the Neocatechumenal Way was organized. 200 thousand people participated in it. During this meeting, Kiko Argüello said the youth: "If one of you, brothers or sisters feels that the Lord is calling you to dedicate your lives to Jesus Christ, please stand up…" Following this, about 5,000 men and 3,000 women rose and walked towards the bishops to receive a blessing for their religious vocation..
2008 - SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - POPE BENEDICT XVI
WYD in Sydney was the first fully modern youth gathering that featured a strong multimedia presence, including a YouTube channel and Facebook engagement.
2005 - COLOGNE, GERMANY – POPE BENEDICT XVI
The anthem song “Jesus Christ you are my life” was especially composed for the Pope’s visit to Germany. It quickly gained popularity and became the unofficial anthem of all WYD gatherings.
2002 - TORONTO, CANADA – POPE JOHN PAUL II
In February 2002, the WYD Cross was placed on Ground Zero, on the ruins of the World Trade Center in New York.
2000 - ROME, ITALY - POPE JOHN PAUL II
To celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, 300 confessors were installed near Circo Massimo, where 2,000 priests served daily.
1997 - PARIS, FRANCE - POPE JOHN PAUL II
During the Pope's meeting with youth in Paris in 1997, more than half a million youth held hands and created the so-called “Chain of Brotherhood”, embracing the capital of France.
1995 - MANILA, PHILIPPINES - POPE JOHN PAUL II
The 1995 youth encounter with the Pope in Manila was inscribed in the Guinness World Records as the largest gathering in history.
1993 - DENVER, USA - POPE JOHN PAUL II
It was in Denver where the Stations of the Cross (Via Crucis) were carried out for the first time in the streets of the city. This began a new WYD tradition.
1991 - CZĘSTOCHOWA, POLAND - POPE JOHN PAUL II
The anthem "Abba Ojcze" was one of John Paul II's favorite songs. No other WYD anthem has gained as much popularity as this one, which unites Christians during other meetings with the Holy Father around the world; it is even sung during pilgrimages.
1989 - SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, SPAIN - POPE JOHN PAUL II
The pilgrims in Santiago de Compostela prayed for peace, confessing that Jesus Christ is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (John 14:6). It turned out that two months later, the Berlin Wall fell and the following WYD was organized in 1991, in a completely free Poland.
1987 - BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA - JOHN PAUL II
St. John Paul II pointed out that young people are protagonists of a double hope: for your youth, the hope of the Church; And for being from Latin America, continent of hope.
1985 - ROME, ITALY - JOHN PAUL II
According to the opinion of many, WYD is the most beautiful invention of Pope John Paul II. But he affirmed that "it is the young men who have invented WYD".