More than one million people expected in Lisbon from today for WYD

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More than one million people are expected in Lisbon from today for World Youth Day (WYD), a meeting of young people from around the world with Pope Francis, which will run until Sunday.

The opening Mass of the day will be celebrated by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon at 19:30 in Parque Eduardo VII.

Francis will arrive in Lisbon at 10:00 on Wednesday and return to Rome at 18:15 on Sunday.

The Pope will participate in ceremonies such as the welcome ceremony at the National Palace of Belém and the reception ceremony at Eduardo VII Park, as well as meetings with young people, students, bishops, representatives of social and charitable assistance centers and religious denominations based in Portugal.

The main WYD initiatives will take place in Lisbon, in Parque Eduardo VII, in the Belém area and in Parque Tejo (north of Parque das Nações and on land in the municipalities of Lisbon and Loures).

The Pope will also travel to Fatima on Saturday morning, where he will stay for about two hours, to pray for peace and against the war in Ukraine.

Although it is difficult to predict, the organization estimates that between one million and 1.5 million people will be in Lisbon.

According to its latest figures, 313,000 pilgrims from 151 different countries had completed the registration process by early July. In total, 663,000 pilgrims started the process, with 480,000 moving on to the second phase of registration.

Many young people may not register, as participation is free and open to all. There were also 737 bishops registered, 29 of them cardinals.

There are no overall or official figures, but estimates suggest that in total WYD will cost around €160 million.

The government has put forward a figure of 36 million euros and the Church has admitted it will spend around 80 million. There are also two chambers involved, Lisbon, which will advance about 35 million, and Loures, with nine to 10 million.

During WYD, 16,000 members of the security, civil protection and emergency medical forces will be deployed, and the Armed Forces and the Spanish, European (Europol) and international (Interpol) police forces are also expected to collaborate.

WYD, which is the Catholic Church’s biggest event, has five official languages: Portuguese, French, English, Spanish and Italian.

This day was born at the initiative of Pope John Paul II (1920-2005), after a meeting with young people in 1985 in Rome, during the International Year of Youth.

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