WYD Diary – Day Two

On Day Two of her World Youth Day diary, Luegi Lopes, our Digital Media Officer, speaks to young pilgrims from Peru and Mexico. The topic of conversation quickly turns to saints.

Luegi Lopes, our Digital Media Officer, is in Lisbon experiencing her first World Youth Day. This is her diary.

Wednesday, 2 August 2023

Day Two was a much quieter day as many of our pilgrims headed to the beautiful Marian shrine at Fatima. In the capital, I started the morning with a visit to Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Loreto dos Italianos – the Church of Our Lady of Loreto – located in the centre of Lisbon, Chiado. A baroque-style church, it was built on the site of the city walls constructed by King Fernando to establish the western limits of 14th century Lisbon. Worship of our Lady of Loreto, very common in Italy, was introduced to Portugal by Italians in the same century. I loved the side chapels dedicated to different saints. Saint Anthony, my great-grandma’s favourite saint, had his own space.

After a time of peace and reflection, I made my way down to Cais Sodre station to head back to the city of joy. I knew it would be busy as Pope Francis had arrived in the area that morning. I headed to the live music section and was greeted by dancing, singing and enjoyment. I met two pilgrims, Rebecca and Judith from Peru, they told me they had been waiting 10 years to come to a World Youth Day and were very excited at the prospect of seeing Pope Francis. I also spoke to Javier from Mexico. One of his many inspirations was our newest saint, St John Henry Newman. We bonded over an interest in the 18th century educationalist – an Anglican thinker who converted to Catholicism and was made a cardinal. Javier also shared with me a story about his favourite Saint, Beato Anacleto Gonzalez Flores, a martyr who died for his faith at the young age of 15.

This is what World Youth Day’s all about… meeting new people, sharing stories that inspire you to grow in faith, and to think about those who inspire you on your own journey.