World Youth Day 2023

Lisbon, Portugal
August 2 – 6, 2023

Dear young people, it is my dream that at World Youth Day you will be able to experience anew the joy of encountering God and our brothers and sisters…Now is the time to arise! Like Mary, let us ‘arise and go in haste.’ Let us carry Jesus within our hearts, and bring him to all those whom we meet! In this beautiful season of your lives, press ahead and do not postpone all the good that the Holy Spirit can accomplish in you!”
Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the XXXVII World Youth Day

Follow Pope Francis’ journey!

Join Pope Francis virtually as he travels through Portugal for World Youth Day 2023! In addition to events with the youth, the Holy Father will visit the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima.


What is World Youth Day?

World Youth Day is the gathering of young people from all over the world with the Pope. It is also a pilgrimage, a celebration of youth, an expression of the universal Church and an intense moment of evangelization for the youth world. Although its Catholic identity is clearly evident, World Youth Day opens its doors to everyone, no matter how close to or distant from the Church they are.  

In 1984, Pope Saint John Paul II decided to organize a gathering on Palm Sunday, in Rome, to celebrate the Youth Jubilee of the Holy Year of Redemption 1983-1984. Sixty thousand pilgrims were expected, however 250 thousand young people from different countries around the world attended the event.  

This year marks the 36th World Youth Day.

Theme for World Youth Day: “Mary arose and went in haste” (Lk 1:39)

“Mary’s haste is thus a sign of her desire to serve, to proclaim her joy, to respond without hesitation to the grace of the Holy Spirit…The haste of the young woman of Nazareth is the haste of those who have received extraordinary gifts from the Lord and feel compelled to share them, to let the immense grace that they have experienced be poured out upon others. It is the haste of those capable of putting other people’s needs above their own. Mary is an example of a young person who wastes no time on seeking attention or the approval of others – as often happens when we depend on our “likes” on social media. She sets out to find the most genuine of all “connections:” the one that comes from encounter, sharing, love and service.”

Archdiocese of San Francisco at World Youth Day

Pilgrims from the Archdiocese will be joining Catholics from around the world in Lisbon for World Youth Day. Gonzalo Alvarado, Youth and Young Adult Coordinator for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, will be sending updates from the event.