John Paul II’s Last World Youth Day: Toronto 2002
July 21. 2012. (Romereports.com) July 23 marks ten years since John Paul II led his last World Youth Day meeting. It took place in Toronto back in 2002.
Despite his age, the Polish Pope showed inner strength and energy, while encouraging the youth to not fear the pain that life can bring. He also told them to seize the moment by striving to be saints, from a young age.
MSGR. RENATO BOCCARDO
Former Organizer of Papal Trips
(1 February, 2005)
“A young man told me he noticed how when John Paul II was young, his message was very powerful and provocative. But still, in old age, being weak, sick and sitting in a chair, his message is just as powerful. It leads me to believe that the power itself comes from his message. It’s as if, the Pope can hide behind that message, which holds the same strength and power.”
During this World Youth Day, John Paul II called on the youth to build a civilization based on love for the third millennium, by making Christ the cornerstones of their lives.
On Sunday July 28, 2002, after the Angelus, the Pope announced the venue of the next WYD.
JOHN PAUL II
“The next World Youth Day 2005 will be in Cologne, Germany.”
But John Paul II didn’t live to see that World Youth Day. He passed away on April 2, 2005. Benedict XVI was elected 17 days later on April 19th. It was the German Pope, who traveled to his native country to lead his first WYD as Pope.