On 21st August 2005, His Holiness Pope Benedict XIV announced to the world:
“And now, as the living presence of the Risen Christ in our midst nourishes our faith and hope, I am pleased to announce that the next World Youth Day will take place in Sydney, Australia, in 2008. We entrust to the maternal guidance of Mary most holy, the future course of the young people of the whole world.”
World Youth Day is the Catholic Church’s week of events for youth and with youth. It gathers thousands of young people from around the world to celebrate and learn about the Catholic faith and to build bridges of friendship and hope between continents, peoples and cultures. Initiated by Pope John Paul II, World Youth Day has been held every year since 1986 when the first event was held in Rome. Sydney hosted the 10th international WYD and XXIII WYD overall. World Youth Day was held in Sydney from 15 – 20 July 2008. The event also marked the first visit to Australia of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.
The theme for World Youth Day 2008 was:
“You will receive POWER when the HOLY SPIRIT has come upon you;
and you will be my WITNESSES” (Acts 1:8)