WYD 2016

Theme for World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow, Poland

06/01/2016 11:38 am

WYD16 - Theme

The theme of the 21st World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, is: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy" (Mt 5:7).

Pope Francis has chosen this, the fifth of the eight Beatitudes given by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, to show the importance of the Beatitudes at the very heart of Jesus’ teaching. In his first Sermon, Jesus presents us with eight examples of the qualities that bring us closer to the Kingdom of God.

Fittingly, in this Jubilee of Mercy, Krakow is the providential home for World Youth Day 2016. Since Christ's appearance to polish nun Sister Faustina, mercy has been radiating from Krakow-Lagiewniki to the whole universal Church.

Sister Faustina received apparitions of Jesus inspiring the devotion we know today as the Divine Mercy. She wrote in her diary that on one occasion she saw Jesus dressed in a white robe, one hand raised to bless, the other touching his robe near his heart, with two rays of light - one red, one white - shining from the robe. The Lord said to her "Make a statue of me, exactly as you see me now, and under the statue you should place the words 'Jesus, I trust you!'".

Consequently, Krakow is widely known as the centre of worship of God’s mercy, and young pilgrims who come will want to see the place of the revelations - Sister Faustina’s tomb and shrine – the place where St John Paul II entrusted the world to God’s Mercy.

It’s worth noting that the fifth Beatitude sums up the first two years of Pope Francis’ pontificate as well. During that time he has shown the Church God’s love towards man and the importance of being merciful to each other.

At a meeting with young Argentinians in Rio, Pope Francis advised: "Read the Beatitudes, it will do you good."

Our task is to re-read the message of the Beatitudes. For three consecutive years, the Pope has chosen for us three out of the eight Beatitudes as the themes for the WYDs. Each one is elaborated on in his addresses, in which he comments on theological matters and gives the youth some tasks for the next year of spiritual work.

All of the World Youth Days – according to their founder and patron, St John Paul II – focus on one biblical thought, which often refers to the spirituality of the particular host city. The main topic accompanies young people not only during the preparation stage for WYD, but it is also discussed during the main events; at catechesis with the Bishops and in the messages and homilies delivered by our Holy Father during the central events.

"When Jesus sent the Twelve out on mission, he said to them: 'Take no gold, nor silver, nor copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor a staff; for the labourers deserve their food' (Mt 10:9-10). Evangelical poverty is a basic condition for spreading the kingdom of God. The most beautiful and spontaneous expressions of joy which I have seen during my life were by poor people who had little to hold onto." Message of Pope Francis for World Youth Day 2014.