World Youth Day 2008
World Youth Day is the Roman Catholic Church's gathering for the young people.
This includes all young people across the world, all youth are invited without discrimination, whilst the event itself celebrates the Catholic faith. It was initiated by Pope John Paul II in 1984.
Australia was chosen as the site of the 2008 World Youth Day celebrations. The decision was made by Pope Benedict XVI during the conclusion ceremonies of the 2005 World Youth Day celebrations in Cologne, Germany.
The 23rd WYD was held in Sydney, Australia from July 15-20, 2008.
The event gathers thousands of young people from around the world to celebrate and learn about the Catholic faith and to build bridges of friendship and hope between continents, peoples and cultures.
XXIII World Youth Day
The concepts behind the WYD08 logo
The logo speaks about the essence of the theme for WYD08:
"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses" (Acts 1:8).
It highlights the promise made by Jesus to set fire upon the Earth by the power of the Holy Spirit which inspires the Pilgrims who come to Australia, to believe and witness to Him.
Central to the logo is the Cross raised in victory, representing Christ and the life of witness which the Holy Spirit enables. It is the passion of the heart of Christ, poured out into the world from the Cross, which consumes the young people of Sydney, of Australia and of the world. The whiteness of the Cross indicates that Jesus is the light of the world.
The flames of the logo represent the Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in tongues of fire. They evoke the Sacrament of Confirmation and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The colours of red, orange and yellow flowing throughout symbolise the Trinity and Unity of God. They also bring to mind the colours of the Australian outback.
The blue of the logo represents the oceans that surround Australia, the waters of Baptism, the sea of humanity and Mary, full of grace.
The Opera House is the symbol of Sydney, the host city for World Youth Day 2008.
The Cross and The Icon of Our Lady
The World Youth Day Cross is the most significant tangible symbol of World Youth Day. Originally the idea of Pope Paul II, the 3.8m high wooden cross was built and placed as a symbol of the Catholic faith, near the main altar in St. Peter's Basilica during the Holy Year 1983.
At the end of that year, Joh Paul II gave the Cross as a gift to the youth of the world, to be carried through the world, as symbol of Christ's love for humanity.
"My dear young people, at the conclusion of the Holy Year, I entrust to you the sign of this Jubilee Year; the Cross of Christ! Carry it throughout the world as a symbol of Christ's love for humanity and announce to everyone that only in the death and resurrection of Christ can we find salvation and redemption." (His Holiness Pope John Paul II , Rome, 22 April 1984)
Since then, the Cross has travelled far and wide; throughout Europe, the US, Canada, South America, Philippines, Poland, Prague, to the German Parliament and even to Ground Zero in New York.
It has been carried by commercial airline, light aircraft, dog sled, pick -up truck, tractor, sailboat, fishing boat and on shoulders.
Theme Song of the World Youth Day
- Receive The Power - Official Anthem of WYD 2008
Read about the story of the World Youth Day Song.
Pilgrims of the WYD 2008
WYD2008 Images from World Youth Day Sydney
WYD SYD 2008 Pope Benedict XVI Final Mass - Consecration
Interesting Places to Visit while you're in Sydney
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