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Getting to Know WYD


In what language will WYD be transmitted?

The Pope will be speaking in Portuguese and the official broadcasts will be in Portuguese. However, his words and the proceedings of events will be translated into everybody’s native languages. So, for example, you will be able to listen to the Pope’s speeches in English on a radio, via an English-speaking translator.

WYD Schedule

Whilst we can't provide you with a comprehensive schedule of every catechesis event and other activities, we can give you information about the Main Events and a brief outline of the schedule. Link here for more information: http://www.rio2013.com/en/peregrinos/detalhes/1908/program

How will the vigil be organized?

The area of the Vigil (and Final Mass) will be divided into zones. Each pilgrim group will be assigned to a zone. In each zone, you will have access to bathrooms, water dispensers, medical points, television screens, food points, adoration tents and gift shops. For more information, click here: http://www.rio2013.com/en/peregrinos/detalhes/1908/program

Weather during WYD Rio

Because Rio de Janeiro is in the southern hemisphere, it is Winter in July. During July, the average high is around 25C (77F), with an average low of 20C (68F). During the night, it can feel cold, so you may want to bring some warm clothes (particularly for the overnight vigil). This time of year also has the least amount of rainfall.

Will there be WiFi?

WiFi is available in some places in the city, such as Starbucks and other coffee shops. It is also available at Copacabana beach, shopping malls and some restaurants.

Will there be discounts for museums and tourist sites for those pilgrims?

If you have pilgrim credentials then all the cultural events will be free - except for Christ the Redeemer and the Sugar Loaf. For more information about these two attractions, click here: http://www.rio2013.com/en/news/details/2152/tourist-spots-begin-selling-special-offers-for-wyd

What is World Youth Day?

World Youth Day (WYD) is a gathering of young people from all over the world with the Pope. It is a meeting to build and strengthen the bonds of faith, friendship and hope, symbolizing the union between people of different cultures and countries. WYD is a testimony of a living Church that is continually being renewed. The main goal of WYD is to inspire young people with Christ's message.


It all started in 1984, by Pope John Paul II. The International Meeting of Youth, during the Holy Year of Redemption, took place in St Peter's Square, at the Vatican. It was there that the Pope gave the youth the cross which became one of the symbols of WYD - known as the Pilgrim Cross, or WYD Cross; it is with the youth at every WYD. Since the youth received the Cross from our Great Pope John Paul II, it has been carried around by young people in a pilgrimage throughout the world, visiting various countries and parts of our globe.


But the Cross doesn’t travel alone. In 2003, John Paul II entrusted the youth with an icon of Our Lady, Salus Populi Romani. Since then, the Cross and the Icon have travelled together.


At the end of WYD Rome 2000, the cross was given to young Canadians by young Italians, in anticipation of WYD Toronto 2002. One of the young people receiving the cross said: “This cross has had a tremendous impact on all of the nations where it has been present. This was evident to me during the ceremonies when we received the cross from the Italians. They were extremely emotional, crying tears of sorrow because they did not want to give it up. We, on the other hand, were crying tears of joy because we were receiving a powerful symbol that we know will impact our nation.”

When is WYD?

WYD is celebrated every two to three years in a different city around the world. The previous one was held in Madrid, Spain in 2011. The upcoming one, here in Rio de Janeiro, will take place from 23-28 July 2013.

Who is invited?

Everyone is welcome to come! It doesn't matter what nationality, race, religion or creed you belong to. WYD is a truly catholic (meaning universal) experience. The more the merrier!

What happens during WYD?

There are many activities to attend during the event such as catechesis, cultural events and moments for sharing your thoughts and faith. There is also an agenda for the major events of WYD (such as the Opening Mass, Papal Welcome Ceremony, Stations of the Cross, the Vigil with the Pope and the Final Mass).

WYD Rio theme

“Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) is the theme of WYD Rio2013. The theme brings together young people from Brazil and the whole world to take up the call to the mission, and to be witnesses of the Risen Christ.


Taken from the last part of the Gospel of Matthew, the context of the motto is the Resurrection of Christ. The disciples, who until then, were frightened and had locked themselves inside for fear of the Jews, encounter Christ, the Victor over death.


The encounter with the Risen Christ encourages all to live out this mandate. Mary Magdalene sees the empty tomb and gives witness to Christ! Peter and John believe and testify when they see the cloth and the strips of linen! The disciples recognize Christ in the sharing of bread and testify that Christ lives!


It is in this context that Christ gives the mandate: Go! Go because He is alive and He walks in front of His friends. Go because Christ is victorious and remains with each member of the Church. Go and announce the Resurrection!

How can I register as a pilgrim?

Click here to register as a pilgrim: http://www.rio2013.com/en/registration

What are the accommodation options?

Registered pilgrims will be accommodated with either Brazilian families or at schools, religious centers and gymnasiums. It is possible to choose your preferred accommodation while registering online. The city of Rio de Janeiro is going to be divided into zones organized by the language spoken (for example there will be a part of the city with Spanish, Portuguese or English groups around you – so it will make it easier for you to make new friends and share your faith in your native language).

What is Mission Week?

Mission Week is an event preparing the young pilgrims towards the main event which is World Youth Day. It is organized a couple of days before WYD. About 300,000 young people from over 135 countries took part in this preparation, in 63 Spanish dioceses during at the last WYD in 2011 in Madrid. The activities for these days are organized by each diocese and include a range of cultural activities, historic visits and parties. Of course, the most important are the religious events, which include moments for praying, Masses at local parishes and pilgrimages in the area around the diocese, but also they give an opportunity to meet people from all over the world with whom the young pilgrims can share their faith and make new friends!

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