What will Pope Francis do in Poland for World Youth Day?

World Youth begins in Poland this Wednesday, marking one of the largest religious gatherings anywhere in the world.

Initiated in 1985 by Saint Pope John Paul II, it is held interationally every two or three years and at a diocesan level every year. The event is normally finished with a Mass and in 1995, five million people at the closing Mass in the Philippians broke the record for the largest single religious event.

The final mass in Krakow, Poland next Sunday promises to be equally spectacular but before then, Pope Francis has a whole list of other events to see to.

Pope Francis will arrive in Poland on Wednesday for a five day trip until Sunday night.Reuters

Here is the pontiff's full itinerary for World Youth Day 2016 celebrations from 27-31 July:

Wednesday, July 27:

ARRIVAL OF POPE FRANCIS at John Paul II International Airport, Krakow–Balice, (4pm)

WELCOMING CEREMONY at Wawel Royal Castle, Krakow, (5pm)


MEETING WITH POLISH BISHOPS at Wawel Cathedral, (6:30pm)

This will be followed by silent prayer at the Tomb of St Stanislaus, where the relics of John Paul II are also displayed, veneration of the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel behind the altar

After dinner, the Holy Father will appear in the Papal Window to greet the faithful gathered in the square in front of the Bishop's Residence in Krakow

Thursday, July 28:

Pope Francis will travel to Balice, along with a stop at the Convent of the sisters of the Presentatiion (7.40am)

Sisters from this community, along with some students from the schools they run, will be gathered at the entrance to the Chapel of Saints John the Baptist and John the Apostle

Arrival at Jasna Gora Monastery in Częstochowa (9.45am)

MASS on the occasion of the 1050th anniversary of the baptism of Poland (10.30am)

Consignment of the keys to Krakow and tram ride to Błonia Park (5pm)

Arrival at Błonia Park (5:15pm)

Popemobile ride among the faithful. Approximately 600,000 young people are expected

WELCOMING CEREMONY (5.30pm for approximately one and a half hours)

After dinner, Francis will appear in the Papal Window, greeting the faithful gathered in the square

Friday, July 29, 2016

PRIVATE MASS in the chapel of the Bishop's Residence in Krakow (7.30am)


This year marks the 75th anniversary of the martyrdom of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, who died in Auschwitz after volunteering to take another man's place and be starved to death

The Holy Father will walk into the concentration camp, passing through the entrance gate on his own. At the entrance to the courtyard of Block 11, the Holy Father will meet individually with 15 camp survivors. Private prayer in the cell of the martyrdom of Father Kolbe


The Holy Father will travel by car from the main gate of the camp, along the railway line, up to the square in front of the International Monument to the Victims of the Camp, where about 1,000 visitors will be gathered. He will stop for a silent prayer in front of the monument

Individual meeting with 25 "Righteous Among the Nations", Gentiles honoured for saving Jews in the Holocaust

Address by the Holy Father

4:30pm Transfer to Kraków-Prokocim


This hospital, one of the most important in Poland, treats approximately 30,000 hospitalised and 200,000 outpatient children each year. About 50 sick children will be gathered in the lobby with their parents

Address by the Holy Father

WAY OF THE CROSS with youth in Krakow's Błonia Park (6pm)

At the end of the Way of the Cross, the Holy Father will deliver a short address

After dinner, the Holy Father will appear in the Papal Window, greeting the faithful gathered in the square

Saturday, July 30, 2016


Chapel of St Faustina Kowalska. Sisters of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy will be present, along with the girls in their care. Prayer in the chapel before the tomb of St Faustina

Transfer by Popemobile to the DIVINE MERCY SANCTUARY (8.45am)

Passage through the Holy Door of Mercy (9am)

Liturgy of RECONCILIATION with the participation of youth (9.15am)

The Holy Father will confess five young people in the following languages: Italian, Spanish, and French. Pope Francis is the third pope – after St John Paul II and Benedict XVI – to visit the Divine Mercy Sanctuary, but the first to offer confession there


Around two thousand people will be in the Sanctuary: priests, religious, consecrated persons, and seminarians from Poland. Five thousand will be able to participate in the Mass on the vast square in front of the shrine


The Holy Father will eat lunch with the Archbishop of Krakow, a translator, and 12 youth representatives from different countries: one boy and one girl from each continent, as well as a boy and a girl from Poland

Arrival at Campus Misericordiae (7pm)

Passing through the Door of Mercy with five youth representatives


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Arrival at Campus Misericordiae (8.45am)

Blessing of two Caritas buildings: House of Mercy for the poor and elderly, and Bread House, a food pantry for the needy

Passage among the faithful

FINAL MASS to mark the end of World Youth Day (10am)

The sending out of youth as witnesses of Divine Mercy. Announcement of the location and year of the next World Youth Day

Arrival at Tauron Arena for a MEETING WITH WORLD YOUTH DAY VOLUNTEERS and the Local Organising Committee and benefactors (5pm)

FAREWELL CEREMONY OF THE HOLY FATHER at Krakow–Balice Airport (6.15pm)

With thanks to Krakow2016.com for providing the details.