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Updated: Aug 12, 2023

"Mary arose and went with hast "(Luke 1,39) Theame of WYD 2023,

I discovered that from the last WYD Pope Francis has adopted the rosary as a uniting factor with the Panama WYD being the first joyful mystery "I am the servant of the Lord, May it be done to me according to thy word" Luke 7:38. Lisbon is the second joyful mystery, and now South Korea will be the third.

I arrived in Lisbon after a weeks travel from Rome which took me through Turin, Marseille and Madrid with a couple of side trips to Apt (France) and Toledo (Spain). It was a hasty trip, but we arrived in time for the start of World Youth Day Lisbon.

The Australian gathering, over three and a half thousand made the journey to Lisbon the largest gatherings of Australians in Portugal every apparently.

One of the 9 concert venues around Lisbon to keep the young entertained through the days and evenings.

Opening mass in center of Lisbon in the evening. 100, 200, 300 thousand? The altar is somewhere beyond thouse big palm trees. About 1/2 a kilometre away.

Statue of Marques de Pombal, the prime minister of Portugal at the time of the 1755 earthquake which destroyed most of Lisbon. He is credited with overseanibg the rebuild of the city. Around the statue screens were placed to view the altar /stage.

The altar/ stage in Lisbon. Park where the opening mass and stations of cross were held.

After the Popes audience a concert was held on the stage I could finally get up close to see it.

Bishop Karol giving a blessing to the Salvatorian pilgrims at the vocations expo.

Friday night concert with Matt Maher and other Christian rock artists, the Benfica football club stadium.

On Saturday evening, all roads led to WYD mass, but eventually they all converged into one. The closest metro station was about 5km walk (about an hour) from the venue which was on the edges of Lisbon.

Sunday morning of the WYD mass, just one small section of the crowd. And yes they are porta loo's running right along the fence line (blue with white roof's). Apparently over 1.3 million in attendance.

This is where I slept on the verg. After trying unsuccessfully to join up with the Australian salvatorian group.

Pope Francis, meeting the people in the concrgation.

Mass was over then it was time to go home.

After spending the majority of the two days exposed to the elements in 40 degree heat and sleeping on what was mostly rocks and dirt. Everyone managed to keep in good spirits and remain in orderly fashion, for the journey home and look forward to doing it all again in Korea in 2026.

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