Pope Francis’ monthly prayer intention for August is for the World Youth Day 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal.
The Pope invited the Church to pray for this intention in this month’s The Pope Video, which is entrusted to the entire Catholic Church through the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.
The video was created in collaboration with the Lisbon 2023 WYD Foundation and the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, and is about young people and World Youth Day.
Pope Francis’ message emphasises his invitation to young people to quickly take the path of bearing joyful witness to the Gospel.
The video begins with Pope Francis reassuring young people of their importance for the Church, noting the Church needs young people in order to survive.
Pope Francis responds to several young people from different continents who pose questions in various languages, including youth from the Philippines, Brazil and the Ivory Coast.
Some ask whether the Church is just for the elderly; why he chose Mary as the theme for World Youth Day; and, what is the Pope’s own hope for this international meeting of young people in Portugal.
Pope Francis explains that Mary’s attitude is a lesson for all her peers.
“As soon as Mary knew she was going to be the Mother of God, she didn’t stay there taking a selfie or showing off…The first thing she did was to set out on a journey, in haste, to serve, to help.”
Later, the Holy Father shares his desire to plant “a seed for the world’s future.”
He also prays for a world which puts love at the centre, especially at a time when “we are at war,” as well as joy, “because if we Christians have no joy, we are not credible, no one will believe us.”
According to Cardinal-elect Américo Aguiar, President of the Lisbon 2023 WYD Foundation, “the meeting is essentially a meeting of young people with the Pope, an encounter of young people with young people, and an encounter of each young person with the person of the living Christ.”
Father João Chagas, who heads the Youth Office for the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, says, “It is good to be able to pray together, to meditate on an intergenerational dialogue, a theme dear to our beloved Pope Francis.”
“After the horrible experience of the pandemic, of social isolation,” he said, “I hope this WYD might be an opportunity for the young people of the entire world to meet each other once again, with the hope of living in times of peace.”
Father Frédéric Fornos S.J., International Director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, said this month’s Pope Video is one of the signs of the presence of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network in World Youth Day in Lisbon.
“As of 2020, preparations for this event have been accompanied by prayer through the Click To Pray app, which is both the Pope’s official prayer app and that of the meeting in Lisbon, regularly dedicating a prayer for WYD 2023 on the 23rd of each month.”
During the course of this event, from 30 July to 6 August, he explained that the Click To Pray App will be available to connect WYD participants, and those who cannot be physically present but who want to accompany WYD.
They can do so by praying three daily meditations in both text and audio formats, available in five languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French.
The Pope Video is an official global initiative with the purpose of disseminating the Holy Father’s monthly prayer intentions. It is carried out by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer). Since 2016, The Pope Video has had more than 203 million views across all the Vatican’s social networks and is translated into more than 23 languages, receiving press coverage in 114 countries.
The videos are produced and created by The Pope Video Prayer Network team, coordinated by Andrea Sarubbi, and distributed by La Machi Communication for Good Causes. The project is sponsored by Vatican Media. For more information: The Pope Video.
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network is a Vatican foundation, with the mission of mobilizing Catholics through prayer and action in response to the challenges facing humanity and the mission of the Church. These challenges are presented in the form of prayer intentions entrusted by the Pope to the entire Church.