(ZENIT News / Lisbon, 15.08.2023).- Two weeks after the start of the World Youth Day, we offer eight relevant facts about the most important event for young Catholics, which was held in Lisbon, Portugal.
1st A million and a half young people
The organizing team of Lisbon’s World Youth Day reported that the forecast revolved around 800,000 participants, however, for the Vigil of the closing Mass and for the closing Mass itself the data was overwhelmed by almost double.
2nd The most numerous delegations were not the Portuguese
One would think that the host country was the one that attracted the most young people to the event for being held in their capital, but it wasn’t the case: in fact, there were two countries with more young people ahead of Portugal (which had a total of 43,742 young participants): they were Spain (77,224) and Italy (59,469). France was in the fourth place (42,482) and the United States in the fifth (19,196).
3rd The greatest concentration of Bishops and Priests of the planet
Almost 700 Bishops, 30 of them Cardinals, and 10,000 priests participated in Lisbon’s WYD. Obviously, their presence was noted more in the Mass of the last day.
4th A WYD for people with different capabilities
A total of 1,753 young people with some form of disability (intellectual or of mobility) participated. Of that total, 135 were deaf and 241 were blind.
5th 25,000 volunteers
As noted in the Pope’s penultimate event in Lisbon, there was a high number of people who offered some form of voluntary service. Supporting, in addition to the Portuguese, were Spaniards, French, Brazilians and Colombians. And 8,831 families opened their homes to offer hospitality to 28,618 pilgrims.
6th 5,000 journalists in the Media Center
A total of almost 5,000 journalists were accredited to cover Lisbon’s WYD. ZENIT can attest to it, as we were among of those media with five journalists, benefitting from the professional care of the WYD’s team.
7th An “ecologic” WYD
17,980 trees were planted.
8th 2,000 priests heard confessions
In the Park of Joy, where at a certain moment one morning the Pope sat to hear confessions, there were 2,000 priests hearing confessions almost every day (but not on Saturday or Sunday).