In a video message on Friday, 20 January, Pope Francis addressed those preparing for World Youth Day 2023, which will be held from 1 to 6 August in Lisbon, Portugal. Expressing his amazement at the large number of registrations, the Pope urged young people to open their horizons and hearts to other pilgrims. The following is a translation of his message.
Dear young people, we are approaching World Youth Day. Even if there are still a few months to go, there are already 400,000 young people registered. I am surprised and happy that so many young people will come because they need to participate. Some will say, “I’m going as a tourist”. But any young person who goes to wyd goes because, deep down, he or she has the thirst to participate, to share, to tell their experience and receive the experience of others. They thirst for horizons.
You young people — there are already 400,000 of you who have signed up — are thirsty for the horizon. At this meeting, during this Day, learn to always look towards the horizon, to always look beyond. Don’t put up a wall in front of your life. Walls close you in, the horizon makes you grow. Always look at the horizon with your eyes, but look, above all, with your heart. Open your heart to other cultures, to other boys, to other girls, who are also at this Day.
Get ready for this: to open horizons, to open your hearts. And thank you for having already registered so far in advance. Let’s hope others will follow your example. May God bless you, may the Virgin take care of you. Pray for me, for I pray for you. And don’t forget: “no” to walls, “yes” to horizons. Thank you.