For the 2023 World Youth Day in Portugal from 1 to 6 August, the Order of Malta’s Portuguese Association has prepared an extensive programme of activities. The WYD2023 will bring 1.2 million young people to the city of Lisbon alone.
A multimedia exhibition has been set up in the Portuguese Association’s premises on the Order of Malta, its history and activities, both in Portugal and around the world. The exhibition is divided into several sections, dedicated to the secular history of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta from its origins to the present day, to spirituality and pilgrimages, to its medical, humanitarian and social activities worldwide, to the specifics of the Order of Malta’s humanitarian diplomacy and, last but not least, to the projects carried out by members and volunteers in Portugal. Since its inauguration, an average of 800 people a day have visited the exhibition.
Some hundred Order of Malta volunteers from eight nations have arrived in Lisbon. The Portuguese Association has organized a special place for them called “Villa Malta”, where they can sleep, eat and socialize during the international event.
The official WYD programme includes a “Vocational Fair” in which all religious orders, Church initiatives, communities and international movements can present their proposals for a Christian pathway. The Order of Malta has a stand at this Fair, illustrating its spirituality and humanitarian works worldwide. Here, pilgrims from different countries can come into contact for the first time with the Order of Malta and learn about its specific humanitarian activities in their country.
The WYD began in 1985 on the initiative of Pope John Paul II to promote meetings of spirituality and culture among young Catholics. The WYD at international level is celebrated every two or three years in a specific city chosen by the Pope. The last international meeting was held from 22 to 27 January 2019 in Panama.