At the conclusion of the final Mass for World Youth Day, Pope Francis expressed his deep gratitude for every person who made “this grace-filled event” possible and announced an Asian country as the next location for World Youth Day in 2027.
Before making the excitedly-awaited announcement that the next World Youth Day will take place in Seoul, South Korea, “moving from the western edge of Europe to the Far East,” Pope Francis expressed gratitude to all those who have made WYD2023 in Lisbon possible.
There is an expression, he said, that we have heard frequently during these days: “Thank you,” or rather, “Obrigado.” Gratitude was the core value of the Pope’s Angelus message after the Holy Mass concluding World Youth Day in Lisbon.
“That obrigado not only conveys a sense of gratitude for what we have received but also the desire to give in return,” the Holy Father explained, highlighting how much each pilgrim has received “in this grace-filled event.”
“Now, as we return home, the Lord makes us, in turn, feel the need to share and to give, to bear witness joyfully and eagerly to the good that God has poured into our hearts.”
The Pope expressed his gratitude to Cardinal Clemente, the Patriarch of Lisbon, to the Church and to the entire Portuguese people.
“Obrigado to the President of the Republic, who has accompanied us during the events of these days; to the national and local institutions for their support and assistance,” the Pope added, also including the city of Lisbon, “which these young people will always remember as a ‘fraternal home’ and ‘city of dreams,’” Cardinal Farrell “and those who prepared this World Youth Day.”
Pope Francis also shared his obrigado to all the volunteers and “to those who watched over World Youth Day from above, namely the patron saints of the event: especially John Paul II, who brought these World Youth Days to life.”
“And obrigado to all of you, dear young people! God sees how good you are. He alone knows what he has sown in your hearts. Please treasure it. I want to say to you: Hold fast to the memory of these days, remembering the best moments.”
The Pope exhorted young pilgrims to “relive the experiences and the graces of these days” in the “inevitable times of fatigue and discouragement,” when “the temptation to give up or close in on yourselves” will be stronger.
Pope Francis expressed his final thoughts for all the young people who couldn’t participate to World Youth Day, greeting those who attended local events organised by the Dioceses and Bishops’ Conferences in different countries of the world, such as “our sub-Saharan brothers and sisters gathered in Tangier.”
The Pope asked the crowd to accompany “with thoughts and prayers those who could not be with us because of armed conflicts and wars. Indeed, there are many of them in our world. In thinking of this continent, I feel great sorrow for beloved Ukraine, which continues to suffer greatly.”
Dear friends, allow me, as an older person, to share with you young people a dream that I carry within me: it is the dream of peace, the dream of young people praying for peace, living in peace and building a peaceful future.
The Pope shared another obrigado “to our roots, to our grandparents, who passed on to us the faith, who passed on to us the horizon of a life.”
The Pope placed the future of humanity into the hands of “Mary, Queen of Peace,” urging the young pilgrims, as they return to their homes, “to continue to pray for peace.”
“What is more, you are a sign of peace for the world, showing how different nationalities, languages and histories can unite instead of divide. You are the hope of a different world. Thank you for this. Onwards!”
Before concluding his address, Pope Francis invited young people “from all over the world” in Rome for the Jubilee and announced Seoul, South Korea, as the next World Youth Day site. The event will take place in 2027.
He also invited the young people present to come to Rome for the 2025 Jubilee Year, calling it the “Jubilee of Young People”.
The final obrigado, “the greatest one,” was to the Lord Jesus and the “Blessed Mary, our Mother.”
“They have been here with us, and they are always with us,” Pope Francis concluded, “never losing sight of our lives, and they love us like no one else.”