Pope Encourages Young People and Announces World Youth Day to Return to Asia in 2027

by Michael Nguyen

Pope Francis concluded World Youth Day in Portugal with a massive open-air Mass and a special announcement for young people. He expressed the Catholic Church’s need for the youth and urged them to pursue their dreams fearlessly. The Pope revealed that the next edition of the event would take place in Seoul, South Korea, in 2027, marking the festival’s return to Asia after more than thirty years. This decision highlights the significance of the continent to the Catholic Church, as it is witnessing significant growth, unlike traditional Christian strongholds in Europe where the Church is experiencing decline.

Addressing an estimated 1.5 million pilgrims who had camped out overnight in Lisbon, Pope Francis emphasized the message of not being afraid. During his papacy, the Pope has occasionally departed from scripted speeches, engaging directly with large crowds. His trip to Portugal allowed him to reconnect with his audience through his native Spanish language and conversational communication style, which was warmly received by attendees.

In his message to the young participants, Pope Francis encouraged them to follow their aspirations and not fear failure. He reiterated the theme that Saint John Paul II frequently emphasized during his time overseeing World Youth Days. The Pope stressed the vital role of young people in effecting positive change in the world and underlined the Church and the world’s need for their contributions.

Pope Francis paid tribute to Saint John Paul II, who initiated the World Youth Day events in the 1980s to inspire the next generation of Catholics. The last time the festival was held in Asia was in 1995 in Manila, the Philippines, during one of the largest-ever Youth Day gatherings presided over by Saint John Paul II.

The announcement of Seoul as the host city for the 2027 edition was met with excitement, particularly by South Korean youths who showcased their enthusiasm by waving a massive national flag on stage. South Korea’s Catholic population has grown significantly, now representing 10 percent of the country’s population of 50 million, with over 100,000 people baptized annually.

Although Pope Francis didn’t confirm his presence in Seoul due to his age (he will be 90 in 2027), he assured an earlier occasion for a youth jamboree in 2025 during the Vatican’s Jubilee year, expected to draw over 30 million pilgrims to Rome.

Throughout his visit to Portugal, Pope Francis engaged in spontaneous conversations with young people, promoting inclusivity and conveying that everyone has a place in the Church. He emphasized that the Church is not a place of strict rules, but rather a “field hospital” for wounded souls, welcoming all with open arms.

The Pope’s uplifting message resonated with the young attendees, who endured extreme temperatures to participate in the events. They appreciated the opportunity to come together from different parts of the world, highlighting the significance of acceptance and unity in today’s society.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about YouthEmpowerment

What is World Youth Day, and what did Pope Francis announce regarding its future editions?

World Youth Day is a Catholic festival that brings together young people from around the world to celebrate their faith. Pope Francis announced that the next edition of World Youth Day will be held in Seoul, South Korea in 2027, marking its return to Asia after more than three decades.

Why is the choice of Seoul, South Korea significant for the Catholic Church?

Seoul was chosen as the host city for World Youth Day 2027 because Asia is of immense importance to the Catholic Church. The region is witnessing a growing and vibrant Catholic community, in contrast to the declining numbers in traditionally Christian lands in Europe.

What was the key message of Pope Francis to the young participants at World Youth Day in Portugal?

Pope Francis urged the young people not to be afraid and encouraged them to follow their dreams fearlessly. He reiterated the theme of pursuing positive change in the world and emphasized that the Church and the world need the young generation as much as the earth needs rain.

How did Pope Francis engage with the attendees during his visit to Portugal?

During his visit, Pope Francis engaged in spontaneous conversations with the young participants, delivering messages of inclusivity and acceptance. He highlighted that the Church is not a place of rigid rules but rather a “field hospital” for wounded souls, welcoming all with open arms.

Why did Pope Francis choose to announce the next World Youth Day in Asia during his visit to Portugal?

Pope Francis chose to announce the next World Youth Day in Seoul, South Korea, during his visit to Portugal to inspire and motivate young people to embrace their faith and actively participate in this global event. The decision aims to draw attention to the growing Catholic community in Asia and promote unity among the youth worldwide.

More about YouthEmpowerment

  • “Pope announces next World Youth Day to be held in Seoul, South Korea” (Catholic News Agency)

  • “World Youth Day” (Vatican News)

  • “Pope Francis urges young people not to be afraid and follow their dreams” (Reuters)

  • “Pope Francis speaks on inclusivity and acceptance during World Youth Day in Portugal” (AP)

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JohnDoe24 August 7, 2023 - 5:40 am

omg pope frncis is so cool! hes all like “u go youths, dont b afraid of failing, world needs u!” #inspirin #youthpower

Faithful_soul August 7, 2023 - 8:38 am

wow so awesome, seoul gonna rock in 2027!!! #cantwait #PopeFrancis


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