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God, merciful Father, in your Son, Jesus Christ,
you have revealed your love and poured it out
upon us in the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.
We entrust to you today the destiny of the world
and of every man and woman.
We entrust to you in a special way young people
of every language, people and nation:
guide and protect them as they walk the complex
paths of the world today and give them the grace
to reap abundant fruits from their experience of
the Krakow World Youth Day.
Heavenly Father, grant that we may bear witness
to your mercy.
Teach us how to convey the faith to those in
doubt, hope to those who are discouraged, love
to those who feel indifferent, forgiveness to those
who have done wrong and joy to those who are
Allow the spark of merciful love that you have
enkindled within us become a fire that can
transform hearts and renew the face of the earth.
Mary, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.
Saint John Paul II, pray for us.
Saint Faustina, pray for us.
Saint Faustina and Pope John Paul II are the patrons of
World Youth Day in Krakow. When in 1938 the 18-year-
old Karol Wojtyła arrived in Krakow to begin his studies
at Jagiellonian University, 33-year-old Sr Faustina lived
in a Krakow convent. She died on October 5, when
Karol began his first semester of studies at the Faculty
of Polish Studies. They never met, but divine providence
tied their fates together in a particular way: it was in fact
John Paul II who canonised Sr Faustina and instituted
the feast of Divine Mercy in the entire Church.
World Youth Day 2016 is being held from July 26-31 in
Krakow, Poland. The major theme for the event is “Blessed are
the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy”. Mt 5:7
During the week leading up to the Closing Mass, youth will
congregate to learn the teachings of the faith and celebrate
in a variety of festivities. The pilgrimage to World Youth Day is
one of sacrifice.
Many young Catholics have been eagerly anticipating the
pilgrimage this year and have been running events and
fundraisers to help fund their journey.
Thousands of pilgrims, like those from Australia, will travel
significant distances to attend.
History of Krakow
According to legend the name Krakow is drawn
from the name of Prince Krak who once ruled
the city. The land on which Krakow sits has been
inhabited since the Stone Age but it is estimated
the settlement was built between the 6th and 8th
centuries. Five burial mounds (one believed to be
Prince Krak’s) date to this period.
The city began to flourish in the year 1000AD
when it became the seat of a bishop. It gained
municipal rights in 1257 and construction began
soon after on the city walls. The remains of these
walls can still be admired by pilgrims today and
include a Florian gate that leads visitors through
the ‘Royal Route’.
Krakow went on to become the capital of Poland
and in 1320, the King of Poland was crowned in
Krakow Cathedral. Soon after construction was
completed on Jagiellonian University, the second
university to be opened in all of central Europe.
Krakow was ruled by Austria following the
partition of Poland in 1795 until 1918 when
Poland gained its independence. During World
War II it was occupied by the Germans but
remained mostly undamaged.
World Youth Day Krakow 2016
The Patron Saints of the event are Saint John Paul II
and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta who will be made a saint
later this year.
The traditional theme of the event is unity, amidst
the presence of pilgrims from different cultures
and countries. Attendees carry flags and national
decorations at events where young people are invited to
proclaim their own themes of Catholicism through song
During the event pilgrims often exchange national
objects like flags, shirts and crosses as souvenirs and
a unity of acceptance and friendship is common and
Highlights of the event include the public appearance by
the Pope which follows a tour of the city on his arrival
in the Popemobile, as well as his Closing Mass and
address at the conclusion of the event.
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