World Youth Day is an international gathering of Catholic youth and young adults which takes place every two to three years at different places throughout the world. Past host cities have included Rome, Buenos Aires, Denver, Toronto, Cologne, Sydney, Paris, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro. This past July, six youth from our parish journeyed to Krakow to take part in World Youth Day 2016.
WYD Preparation Event - Orchard LAke St. Mary's
WYD 2016 Patron Saints
Pope St. John Paul II
Krakow and Małopolska (Lesser Poland) are where Karol Wojtyła – Pope John Paul II was born and from where he headed to Rome to take part in the conclave. These are the places he looked back on not only in his memories but also during his pilgrimages to his homeland: "Here is were I was born. Here in Krakow I spent most of my life. And also here I was blessed with God's calling to become his humble servant. Here also in Wawel Cathedral I was consecrated a bishop" – he recalled.
On the day of the inauguration of his Papacy, in his first speech delivered from the window of the Apostolic Palace, just before Angelus, John Paul II addressed the young with the earnest words: "You are the future of this world. You are the hope of the Church. You are my hope!" Meeting young people was of utmost importance for the Pope. He established World Youth Day.
John Paul II visited his homeland nine times: in 1979, 1983, 1991, 1995, 1997, and 1999. His last visit took place in August 2002. Every time he was in Poland, he met with Polish youth, for example in front of the famous Papal Window in Krakow at 3 Franciszkańska Street.
Saint Faustina is the one the world acknowledged as the Apostle of Divine Mercy, the author of a bestseller titled simply “Diary,” which has been translated into over 30 languages. To become the most popular Polish writer she only needed to acquire a basic knowledge of reading and writing, and, what is most difficult, to completely trust God. This mission was continued by Pope John Paul II. On the 30th of April 2000, he not only included her among the saints but also fulfilled Jesus’ wish by establishing Divine Mercy Sunday for the whole Church. He said at that time: “I have a truly great joy today, showing the whole Church what a gift of God the life and testimony of Sister Faustina Kowalska is for our times. [...] Through this canonization today, I want to transmit the message of Mercy to the new millennium. I give it to all the people, so that they can learn to get to know the real face of God and the real face of man even better.”