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In the footsteps of St John Paul II
Pope John Paul II embraces a young woman during the closing Mass of World Youth Day in Denver in 1993. Photo: CNS

In the footsteps of St John Paul II

WE are now just under a year away from the start of World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow, Poland.

Every time I speak to a parish or Youth Group about World Youth Day, there is one particular aspect about the pilgrimage that I just can’t help but be excited about – the opportunity to explore the home of Saint John Paul II, the founder of World Youth Day.

 The idea of creating a World Youth Day came to Pope John Paull II in 1985.

At what would be his final World Youth Day in 2002, he recalled to the crowd:

“Back in 1985, I wanted to start the World Youth Days, I imagined a powerful moment in which the young people of the world could meet Christ, who is eternally young, and could learn from him how to be bearers of the Gospel to other young people.”

Since its creation, the World Youth Day tradition has led millions of young people on a physical and spiritual journey, with the destination of meeting Christ.

St John Paul II’s vision for World Youth Day and his passion for the vibrant and enthusiastic faith of young people is a lasting legacy that continues to live on each time pilgrims gather for this amazing event.

The museum of St John Paul II located in his hometown of Wadowice will be a true highlight of the pilgrimage.

On this day pilgrims will walk through various galleries dedicated to the timeline of St John Paul II’s life and legacy, from his childhood to his vocation to the priesthood and his remarkable twenty-six year pontificate.

Each month I’ll be writing a column here to update you on the latest WYD news.

Pope Francis has already registered for World Youth Day, so why not send us an email at or check out to hear how you can join us on pilgrimage.

St John Paul II; Pray for us.

By Zach Woodward

Zach Woodward is the WYD 2016 Brisbane liaison.

Written by: Guest Contributor
Catholic Church Insurance

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