Themes for upcoming World Youth Days announced

Vatican City, Nov 7, 2013 / 09:20 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Earlier today it was disclosed that Pope Francis has decided on the themes of the next three World Youth Days, which will mark a spiritual preparation for the international event to be held in Krakow in 2016.

World Youth Day (WYD) is a gathering of youths from all over the world to meet with the Pope in order to build and strengthen the bonds of faith, friendship and hope, symbolizing the union between people of different cultures and countries.

A Nov. 7 press release revealed that for the next three years the meeting’s themes will center on the Beatitudes, taken from the Gospel of Matthew.

The title of the 2014 event will reflect on the first Beatitude, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” while the following year, 2015, will be devoted to the theme “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

These two years will culminate with the international World Youth Day slated to occur in Krakow, Poland in 2016, which will draw together the previous topics by finishing off with the theme “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.”

During the 28th international youth event held in Rio de Janiero earlier this year, Pope Francis asked the youth present “with all of my heart,” to read the Beatitudes carefully and to make them into a plan of action for their lives.

In a special encounter in Rio with the young people of Argentina, the Pope urged “Look, read the Beatitudes: that will do you good!”

World Youth Day was instituted by Bl. John Paul II in 1985, and is celebrated annually at the diocesan level every Palm Sunday in Rome and at a week-long event internationally every two to three years.

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