PANAMA – Pope Francis was one of the first pilgrims to register for World Youth Day 2019. With the help of two young adults, he reserved his spot using a tablet in Saint Peter’s Square.
“There,” The pontiff said on the first day of registration. He registered after delivering his weekly Sunday catechesis and praying the Angelus with the crowd. “I am now enrolled as a pilgrim to World Youth Day. I invite all young people around the world to live this event of grace and fraternity with faith and enthusiasm, either by going to Panama or by participating in their communities.”
Registration for World Youth Day 2019, and Pope Francis became one of the first to register via the internet: https://t.co/M0vunUROZG
— Vatican News (@VaticanNews) February 12, 2018
Now, his visit is officially confirmed, though.
This week, Greg Burke, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, confirmed that Pope Francis will visit Panama for World Youth Day 2019. The international gathering of youth will be held from January 23 – 27, 2019.
The announcement was made in the Archdiocese of Panama. Representatives of the Holy See were present alongside representatives from the Panamanian Catholic Church and the President of the Republic, Juan Carlos Varela.
“It’s an honor to receive the visit of Pope Francis . . .one of the great spiritual leaders of the world,” President Varela commented to the press.
“The visit of Pope Francis will generate a great impact in the international projection of the country and will allow millions of people to know the hospitality, the healthy and noble heart of the Panamanian people,” he continued.
President Varela encouraged Panamanians to be hospitable to the youth that they will encounter during World Youth Day. “I feel that WYD will mark a before and after in Panama that will give the Panamanian people the opportunity to show the world the joy that characterizes our nation”, he said during the announcement of Pope Francis’ visit.
Monsignor José Domingo Ulloa, Archbishop of Panama is excited for the youth of the world to gather in Panama. “World Youth Day is one of the mega-events of the Catholic Church that shows the best face of world youth, and that only through faith can we understand that great masses generate a Christian environment, warm, cheerful, friendly, with people who do not know each other, who share as brothers without having language or culture in common.”
Monsignor José Domingo Ulloa is also the Apostolic Nuncio in Panama and a representative of Pope Francis. He thanked the President, the Panamanian government and the nation of Panama for their hard work in preparation for the upcoming World Youth Day. “I am sure that World Youth Day and the papal trip will be a great success for the noble Panamanian nation,” he said.
This will be Pope Francis’ third World Youth Day. He’s previously attended the gatherings in Brazil and Poland.