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World Youth Day Toronto 2002

XVII Journée Mondiale de la Jeunesse - in Canada
8th international WYD / JMJ - Toronto, 23-28 July 2002

"You are the salt of the earth ... the light of the world"
Theme for 18th WYD/JMJ (cf Mt 5: 13,14) & JPII's Message to Young People

WYD Toronto 2002 with JPII & Ugo      

Ugo, who's from Nigeria: "The World Youth Day in Toronto prepared my faith to know, love and cherish God, and just not to be afraid. As our late Pope, Blessed John Paul II said: 'Do not be afraid to say yes to Jesus, do not be afraid to love Jesus, do not be afraid to serve Jesus, do not be afraid to visit Jesus, do not be afraid to open your door to Jesus. It's yes, yes, yes all the way because Jesus is meek and humble of heart. That's my experience of World Youth Day - it was beautiful."

  • Flash is required!

John Paul II, We love you!       

Nathan (27 & from Brazil) remembers his WYD with JPII at Toronto.

JPII: "You are young, and the Pope is old .. But the Pope still fully identifies with your hopes and aspirations. Although I have lived through much darkness, under harsh totalitarian regimes, I have seen enough evidence to be unshakably convinced that no difficulty, no fear is so great that it can completely suffocate the hope that springs eternal in the hearts of the young. You are our hope, the young are our hope. Do not let that hope die! Stake your lives on it! We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father's love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son."

Blessed John Paul II's homily at Mass for 17th World Youth Day:

at Downsview Park on Sunday, 28th July 2002 - in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

Dear Young People of the 17th World Youth Day, Chers Frères et Soeurs,

1. On a hillside near the lake of Galilee, Jesus's disciples listened to his gentle and urgent voice; as gentle as the landscape of Galilee itself, as urgent as a call to choose between life and death, between truth and falsehood. The Lord spoke words of life that would echo for ever in the hearts of his followers.

Today he is speaking the same words to you, the young people of Toronto and Ontario, of the whole of Canada, of the United States, of the Caribbean, of Spanish-speaking America and Portuguese-speaking America, of Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania. Listen to the voice of Jesus in the depths of your hearts! His words tell you who you are as Christians. They tell you what you must do to remain in his love.

2. But Jesus offers one thing, and the "spirit of the world" offers another. In today's Reading from the Letter to the Ephesians, Saint Paul tells us that Jesus leads us from darkness into light (cf. Eph 5,8). Perhaps the great Apostle is thinking of the light that blinded him, the persecutor of Christians, on the road to Damascus. When later he recovered his sight, nothing was as before. He had been born anew and nothing would ever take his new-found joy away from him.

Dear young people, you too are called to be transformed. "Awake, O sleeper, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light" (Eph 5, 14), says Saint Paul. The "spirit of the world" offers many false illusions and parodies of happiness. There is perhaps no darkness deeper than the darkness that enters young people's souls when false prophets extinguish in them the light of faith and hope and love. The greatest deception, and the deepest source of unhappiness, is the illusion of finding life by excluding God, of finding freedom by excluding moral truths and personal responsibility.

3. The Lord is calling you to choose between these two voices competing for your souls. That decision is the substance and challenge of World Youth Day. Why have you come together from all parts of the world? To say in your hearts: "Lord, to whom shall we go?" Who has the words of eternal life? "You have the words of eternal life" (Jn 6,68). Jesus - the intimate friend of every young person - has the words of life.

The world you are inheriting is a world which desperately needs a new sense of brotherhood and human solidarity. It is a world which needs to be touched and healed by the beauty and richness of God's love. It needs witnesses to that love. The world needs salt. It needs you - to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

4. Salt is used to preserve and keep. As apostles for the Third Millennium, your task is to preserve and keep alive the awareness of the presence of our Savior Jesus Christ, especially in the celebration of the Eucharist, the memorial of his saving death and glorious resurrection. You must keep alive the memory of the words of life which he spoke, the marvellous works of mercy and goodness which he performed. You must constantly remind the world of the "power of the Gospel to save" (Rom 1, 16)!

Salt seasons and improves the flavour of food. Following Jesus, you have to change and improve the "taste" of human history. With your faith, hope and love, with your intelligence, courage and perseverance, you have to humanize the world we live in, in the way that today's Reading from Isaiah indicates: "loose the bonds of injustice ... share your bread with the hungry ... remove the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil.... Then your light shall rise in the darkness" (Is 58,6-10). 5. Even a tiny flame lifts the heavy lid of night. How much more light will you make, all together, if you bond as one in the communion of the Church! If you love Jesus, love the Church! Do not be discouraged by the sins and failings of some of her members. The harm done by some priests and religious to the young and vulnerable fills us all with a deep sense of sadness and shame. But think of the vast majority of dedicated and generous priests and religious whose only wish is to serve and do good! There are many priests, seminarians and consecrated persons here today; be close to them and support them! And if, in the depths of your hearts, you feel the same call to the priesthood or consecrated life, do not be afraid to follow Christ on the royal road of the Cross! At difficult moments in the Church's life, the pursuit of holiness becomes even more urgent. And holiness is not a question of age; it is a matter of living in the Holy Spirit, just as Kateri Tekakwitha did here in America and so many other young people have done.

You are young, and the Pope is old, 82 or 83 years of life is not the same as 22 or 23. But the Pope still fully identifies with your hopes and aspirations. Although I have lived through much darkness, under harsh totalitarian regimes, I have seen enough evidence to be unshakably convinced that no difficulty, no fear is so great that it can completely suffocate the hope that springs eternal in the hearts of the young.

You are our hope, the young are our hope. Do not let that hope die! Stake your lives on it! We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father's love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son.

6. I finish with a prayer.

O Lord Jesus Christ, keep these young people in your love.
Let them hear your voice and believe what you say,
for you alone have the words of life.
Teach them how to profess their faith, bestow their love,
and impart their hope to others.
Make them convincing witnesses to your Gospel
in a world so much in need of your saving grace.
Make them the new people of the Beatitudes,
that they may be the salt of the earth and the light of the world
at the beginning of the Third Christian Millennium!
Mary, Mother of the Church, protect and guide these young men and women
of the Twenty-first Century. Keep us all close to your maternal heart. Amen.

Blessed John Paul II's message at the Angelus

"We conclude this splendid celebration of the Eucharist with the Angelus prayer to Mary, Mother of the Redeemer. To her I entrust the fruits of this World Youth Day, that in time, with her help, they may flourish. This World Youth Day must mark a reawakening of pastoral attention to the young in Canada. May the enthusiasm of this moment be the spark that is needed to launch a new era of powerful witness to the Gospel!

I wish formally to announce that the next World Youth Day will take place in 2005 in Cologne, Germany. In the great Cathedral in Cologne are honoured the relics of the Magi, the Wise Men from the East who followed the star which led them to Christ. As pilgrims, your spiritual journey to Cologne starts today. Christ awaits you there for the 20th World Youth Day!

May the Virgin Mary, our Mother on our pilgrimage of faith, be with you on the way.

Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae...

Je remercie vivement tous ceux et toutes celles qui ont contribué au succès de cette XVIIème Journée mondiale de la Jeunesse..

As we prepare to return home, I say, in the words of St Augustine: "We have been happy together in the light we have shared. We have really enjoyed being together. We have really rejoiced. But as we leave one another, let us not leave Him" (In Io ev tr, 35,9).

Muchas gracias a los jóvenes de lengua española. No tengáis miedo de responder con generosidad a la llamada del Señor. ¡Que vuestra fe brille ante el mundo! ¡Que vuestras acciones muestren vuestro compromiso derivado del mensaje de salvación del Evangelio!

Queridos jovens de língua portuguesa! Não acaba aqui a Jornada Mundial da Juventude; deve continuar na vossa vida de fiel entrega a Cristo: sêde sal, sêde luz no mundo que vos rodeia!

Carissimi giovani italiani: mantenete vivo il dono della fede che vi ha sorretto in questi giorni. La Chiesa ha bisogno del vostro impegno. Arrivederci a Roma!

Liebe Jugendliche deutscher Sprache! An Euch liegt es ganz besonders, im Blick auf das Treffen in Köln im Jahr 2005 den Geist des Weltjugendtags lebendig zu erhalten. Baut mit an einer Zivilisation der Liebe und der Gerechtigkeit! Seid selbst ein leuchtendes Vorbild, das viele andere zum Reich Christi hinführt, zum Reich der Wahrheit, der Gerechtigkeit und des Friedens.

Moja myśl biegnie w końcu do Polski, którą - jak Pan Bóg pozwoli - niedługo ponownie nawiedzę. Drodzy rodacy, nigdy nie traćcie z oczu waszego chrześcijańskiego dziedzictwa. Możecie w nim odnaleźć mądrość i odwagę, aby stawiać czoło wielkim wyzwaniom religijnym i etycznym naszych czasów. Wszystkich was zawierzam opiece Jasnogórskiej Pani."

- in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

 

For 1st 5 mins of this next video there's nothing but joyful dancing...then you spot the 1st priest...and then lots more.. Many thanks to 'Reeemas' for this great video: "Excerpt from a video montage (that I created) depicting my WYD experience. I was part of an American/Lithuanian group. There are two parts divided by some raw footage."