In August 2023, WYD will be held in Lisbon. Young people from all over the world will meet Pope Francis in the Portuguese capital from August 1st to 6th. The Local Organizing Committee has appointed 13 patron saints to accompany these young people throughout these World Youth Days. These saints and blessed individuals, men and women, Portuguese or not (6 of them were born in Lisbon), all have a strong message of perseverance, hope and trust in God to transmit to every young person who wishes to follow Christ. Discover the patron saints of WYD 2023!
The Holy Pope John Paul II, a great figure of the twentieth century, initiated of the first World Youth Day in 1986. This pope, who constantly advised us not to be afraid, liked to address young people, to whom he said: "you are the future of the world, the hope of the Church, you are my hope.”
This Italian saint, a great teacher who lived in the nineteenth century, is the founder of the Salesian society, whose mission was to educate of disadvantaged young people. A "Father and Teacher of Youth", he was committed to offering a future to young people through intellectual and vocational training. Don Bosco is also the patron saint of apprentices and educators.
Saint Vincent, of Saragossa, the patron saint of the diocese of Lisbon, died a martyr at the beginning of the fourth century. He is remembered as a man who was jolly and full of good humor. He is the patron saint of winemakers.
This Franciscan saint prayed to all over the world was born in Lisbon in 1195. Many people pray for his intercession to ask him for a favor or to find a lost object. A great preacher, he is also one of the Doctors of the Church. He is the patron saint of Portugal.
Saint Bartholomew was a 16th century Dominican. Born in Lisbon, he became bishop of Braga. His name comes from the church where he was baptized (Our Lady of the Martyrs). He was beatified by John Paul II in 2001 and canonized by Pope Francis in 2019.
Saint John de Brito was a Portuguese Jesuit priest of the 17th century. He died a martyr in India, where he was a missionary. Born in Lisbon to a noble family, he felt called to India to proclaim the Gospel.
Daughter of King Alfonso V, who reigned in the 15th century in Portugal, Jane was a princess of great beauty. She was the heir to the kingdom but refused that destiny because she felt called to another Kingdom. She entered the convent and consecrated herself to God.
João Fernandes was a Jesuit missionary born in Lisbon in the sixteenth century. He is one of 38 companions of Saint Ignatius Azevedo who died as martyrs during their crossing to Brazil, when their boat was attacked by Huguenot pirates.
Also born in Lisbon, Blessed Marie Clara of the Child Jesus was a Portuguese nun who lived in the nineteenth century. She dedicated herself to the poor and founded the Franciscan Hospitaller Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.
This young Italian very quickly showed a strong communal commitment through associations of Catholic laity and actively lived charity. He was nourished by his great devotion to the Virgin Mary and to the prayer of the Rosary. He died at the age of 24 in 1925, of polio contracted while visiting the poor. He is the patron saint of World Youth Day.
A member of the Scouts of France and then of the Young Christian Workers, Marcel Callo was an active young man who combined spiritual life and commitment in the field. In 1943, he had to go to Germany for the Compulsory Labor Service. He would continue to practice clandestine catholic service. Arrested in 1944 by the Gestapo, he was sent to a concentration camp, and died in Mauthausen in 1945.
Chiara Badano was born in 1971 in Italy. A lively and sporty teenager, she was also very attentive to others. She wanted to live the Gospel to the fullest and join the Focolari movement. Until she fell ill, she offered everything to Jesus. She died in 1990, leaving us this beautiful quote: “If you want it, Jesus, I want it too”
"All are born originals, but many die like photocopies," said Carlo Acutis. This young Italian put his gifts for computer science, his short life and his whole being at the service of Christ. At the age of 15, he reached Heaven having lived his life in a unique and full way. Beatified in 2020, he could be the first saint of the 21st century.
Cardinal Manuel Clemente, Patriarch of Lisbon, reminds us that the Virgin Mary is also the “patron saint par excellence” of this event. The official prayer of WYD 2023 is also a prayer to Our Lady of Visitation.
Pope Francis invites young people on these World Youth Days to keep the verse from the Gospel of Luke in mind that details the Visitation: "... Mary got ready and hurried..." (Luke 1: 39).
Find online retreats and novenas on hozana.org to prepare for this event or to help young people on their way with your prayers. You can also entrust to the Patron saints 2023, the WYD of Lisbon with a novena to Carlo Acutis or to Saint John Paul II to walk towards holiness.