What Is The World Youth Day And What Is Its Purpose?


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The World Youth Day is an annual gatehring of Catholic young people, initiataed by Pope John Paul II in 1984. Its purpose is to bring together like minded people of a young age to grow in faith and to encourage the youth of the world in their role as "nightwatchmen of the Third Millenium" (John Paul II). It is celebrated every year at Diocesan level and is marked every two or three years with a week-long international gathering at various locations throughout the world. These spectacular events attract massive crowds of hundreed of thousands, and are attended by people from almost every nation of the world.

At the World Youth Day in 2000, over 2 million young people from across the planet convereged on Rome. It has been dubbed as the largest gathering of young people ever. In August 2005, the first World Youth Day after the death of John Paul II was held in Cologne, Germany. It was Pope Benedict XVI's first apostolic trip outside of Italy. The Pope was greated to a raptuous reception by the youth of the world on his return to his homeland.

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