By Hannah Brockhaus
Catholic News Agency
June 7, 2023
ROME— Pope Francis’ schedule for his trip to Portugal for World Youth Day 2023 was published by the Vatican on Tuesday.
During his Aug. 2–6 visit to the southern European country, the 86-year-old pope will split his time between WYD events and meetings with local government and religious leaders and other organizations.
He will also spend the morning of Aug. 5 at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, about 75 miles northeast of Lisbon, where he will pray the rosary with sick young adults in the Marian shrine’s Chapel of Apparitions.
On the evening of Aug. 5, Pope Francis will participate in a vigil with World Youth Day participants at Tejo Park in Lisbon, a green space of more than 220 acres flanked by the Tagus River and with a view of Europe’s second-longest bridge, Vasco da Gama.
The park will be the site for WYD 2023’s main festivities, including Mass with Pope Francis on the final day.
Sunday Mass followed by a meeting with World Youth Day volunteers will be the pope’s final encounters before returning to Rome on the evening of Aug. 6.
The five-day trip will begin with a meeting with Portugal’s Catholic President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa followed by an address to government authorities, civil society members, and the diplomatic corps.
He will later meet with the country’s prime minister, António Costa, before praying vespers with local priests, bishops, seminarians, and consecrated men and women at the 16th-century Jerónimos Monastery, one of Lisbon’s top-visited sites.
On Aug. 3, Francis will meet students from the Portuguese Catholic University before traveling to the Cascais suburb west of Lisbon to spend time with young people from Scholas Occurentes, an international group that promotes education in poor communities.
That afternoon he will take part in his first World Youth Day event, a welcome ceremony at Eduardo VII Park.
On Friday, Aug. 4, Pope Francis will hear confessions, meet representatives of charity organizations, have lunch with young adults, and pray the Stations of the Cross.
The trip will mark Francis’ fourth World Youth Day after taking part in the international Catholic gatherings in Panama, Poland, and Brazil.
World Youth Day was established by Pope John Paul II in 1985. The weeklong celebration usually attracts hundreds of thousands of young people.
The theme of Lisbon’s World Youth Day, which will take place Aug. 1-6, is “Mary arose and went with haste.”