International Youth Meeting Rome (1985)

The United Nations had proclaimed 1985 to be an International Year of Youth. Although less than a year had passed since the Youth Jubilee, it was decided to hold a large meeting in Rome on 30 and 31 March.
“You are called to build peace”, the young people were told. They came from 70 countries and were gathered on Saturday afternoon in St John Lateran Square. The Pope spoke of how the younger generations are called to participation at all levels.

Once again, more than 300,000 young people from all over the world took part in the event.
After a night spent in prayer, on the morning of 31 March they came together in St Peter’s Square to celebrate Palm Sunday.
Here the pope made a surprise announcement. He had written a special apostolic letter Parati Semper addressed to all young people. “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope” was the theme of the letter that was addressed to the young people of the world on the occasion of the International Year of Youth.

The document was almost like a long and impassioned conversation with young people. It is largely a commentary on the Gospel episode of Jesus’ encounter with the rich young man (cf. Mk 10:17-22; Mt 19:16-22; Lk 18:18-23).
It is a message of hope and commitment through which the Holy Father speaks of how the Church attributes particular importance to the period of youth because it holds our hopes for the future of humanity and of the Church itself.
On 20 December 1985, the Holy Father made reference to the meeting held in March when he instituted World Youth Day. He set out the pastoral, educational and, one might say, existential lines that World Youth Day should follow.

Summary based on the data sheet published by, organ of the Diocese of Rieti.

Youth Jubilee Rome (1984)

How did World Youth Day first come about? There were two specific events and a letter that set the scene. The first of these events was a meeting to celebrate the International Youth Jubilee in St Peter’s Square from 12 to 14 April 1984 during the Extraordinary Holy Year of the Redemption.

A torchlight procession along Via della Conciliazione opened the Youth Jubilee. About 60,000 young people gathered in St Peter’s Square for the opening of their Jubilee celebrations. “Embrace the joy, freedom and love of Jesus”, the Holy Father told them.

Two days later, again in St Peter’s Square, more than 300,000 young people filled the square to celebrate their Jubilee with the pope. “Do away with evil and choose life”, the pope said as he invited young people to find strength in the Redeemer to take humanity into the beginning of the Third Millennium. Some days later, on 22 April, at the closing of the Holy Year, the pope gave young people the large cross that had presided over the Jubilee ceremonies in St Peter’s Basilica. He said, “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 proclaim to everyone that it is only in Christ, who died and rose from the dead, that salvation and redemption are to be found”. It was a simple, concrete gesture that was charged with symbolism and consequences. The cross was placed at the heart of young people’s lives and became the young people’s cross. This gesture began a story that would be closely intertwined with that of World Youth Day, but at the same time it would have an autonomous and extraordinary life. The Cross has toured the world several times since then and has presided over major meetings of young people with the pope.

Summary based on the data sheet published by, organ of the Diocese of Rieti.

This site is registered on as a development site.