The World

Pope announces that the next WYD will be in South Korea

On the day of the Transfiguration, WYD 2023 came to an end. During the Sending Mass, Pope Francis addressed the youth in his homily and announced that the next WYD in 2027 will be held in Seoul, South Korea.

Paloma López Campos-August 6, 2023-Reading time: 3 minutes

Pope Francis with South Korean bishops after announcing that Seoul will host the next WYD 2027 (CNS photo / Vatican Media)

On August 6, the Sunday of the Transfiguration, the WYD 2023. The meeting of the young people and the Pope ended with a Mass of sending forth, during which the Holy Father addressed the pilgrims in a homily and announced the site of the next WYD: Seoul, South Korea.

Francis began by inviting everyone to ask themselves what they take with them back to daily life after these days. The Pope himself answered the question with three verbs: "to shine, to listen and not to be afraid".

Regarding the first verb, Francis explained that Christ was transfigured just after announcing to the apostles his Passion and Death. He wanted to give them some light before the trial. "Today too we need some light, a flash of light that is hope to face so much darkness that assails us in life."

The Pope pointed out that Jesus "is the Light that does not go out". God illuminates our whole life, "we shine when, welcoming Jesus, we learn to love like Him". The Holy Father asked that no one be deceived in this regard, he clarified that acts of love are necessary to have that light.

With regard to the second verb 'to listen', Francis encouraged everyone to read the Word of GodThe Pope urged them to go into the Gospel to listen to Jesus, "for He will tell you the way of love".

Finally, the Pope encouraged young people not to be afraid. He affirmed that young people are the present and the future, and it is precisely to them that Christ says "do not be afraid".

"I would like to look into the eyes of each one of you and tell you not to be afraid," Francis stressed. "Moreover, I tell you something very beautiful, it is no longer me, it is Jesus himself who is looking at you at this moment." Christ, who knows each one of you, is the one who says today and here "do not be afraid."

The importance of gratitude

After Mass, the Pope gave the symbols of WYD 2023 to several young people representing the five continents. He then addressed a few words to all before the Angelus prayer. During his address, he pointed out the importance of gratitude and the desire to reciprocate the good.

"The Lord makes us feel the need to share with others what God has put in our hearts," said Francis, who was the first to thank the ecclesiastical and civil authorities for their work during these days of WYD, all the volunteers and workers, and the city of Lisbon itself. The Pope also thanked St. John Paul II for starting these days years ago and for interceding for them from Heaven.

The Holy Father encouraged everyone to take care of what God has sown in their hearts. "Keep present in your minds and in your hearts the most beautiful moments, so that when moments of tiredness and discouragement come, which are inevitable, and perhaps the temptation to stop walking, with the memory you will rekindle the experiences and the grace of these days. Because, never forget, this is the reality, this is you: God's holy and faithful people, who walk with the joy of the Gospel".

Francis also greeted all the young people who were unable to participate in WYD and thanked them for joining in as much as they could. He also wanted to share a dream that he has in his heart, "the dream of peace, the dream of young people who pray for peace".

South Korea to host the next World Youth Day

The Holy Father invited everyone to Rome to celebrate the Jubilee of Youth in 2025 and, at the end of his speech, he announced the location of the next WYD in 2027: "it will take place in Asia, in South Korea, in Seoul".

Finally, Francis thanked Jesus and Holy Mary for their presence in every WYD and in the life of each one of us.

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