Pope Francis gave a tap on the ipad and declared, “Look, I enrolled in the Day as a pilgrim through this electronic device.” The Pontiff was on the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square, when he registered himself as the first pilgrim to the next World Youth Day, officially opening the registration. A young man and a young woman stood by the sides the Pope, symbolizing the youth in the world.
The thirty first World Youth Day will take place in Krakow, Poland. The previous edition was held in Rio de Janeiro in 2013, shortly after the election of Pope Francis, which also attracted tens of millions of youth to Copacabana beach.
The World Youth Day was instigated by late Pope John Paul II in 1986, with the first edition taking place in Rome. The world meeting in Poland becomes special as the homeland of the John Paul itself turns the hosting nation.
The Krakow edition of World Youth Day will have the theme, ““Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy” (Mt. 5:7). More than two million youth are expected to attend the big event.