He told young people to “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.”
Over the past 36 years, the cross has traveled around the world, carried by young people on pilgrimages and processions, as well as to every international World Youth Day.
The 12 and a half foot tall cross is known by different names, including the Youth Cross, Jubilee Cross, and Pilgrim Cross.
The cross and icon are usually given to young people from the country hosting the next World Youth Day on Palm Sunday, which is also Diocesan Youth Day, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the exchange was postponed to the Feast of Christ the King.
Pope Francis also announced Nov. 22 that he had decided to move the annual diocesan-level youth day celebration from Palm Sunday to Christ the King Sunday, beginning next year.
“The center of the celebration remains the Mystery of Jesus Christ the Redeemer of Man, as Saint John Paul II, the initiator and patron of WYD, always emphasized,” he said.
In October, World Youth Day Lisbon launched its website and unveiled its logo.
The design, which features the Blessed Virgin Mary in front of a cross, was created by Beatriz Roque Antunes, a 24-year-old who works at a communication agency in Lisbon.
The Marian logo was designed to communicate the World Youth Day theme selected by Pope Francis: “Mary arose and went with haste,” from St. Luke’s account of the Virgin Mary’s visitation to her cousin Elizabeth after the Annunciation.
In his homily at Mass Nov. 22, Pope Francis encouraged young people to do big things for God, to embrace the Corporal Works of Mercy, and to make wise choices.