The largest gathering of young people in the whole world is happening again, this time in Panama City. It is the 34th World Youth Day with Pope Francis who has a special place for the youth in his heart and has kept up with this tradition initiated by his predecessor, Pope St. John Paul II, 33 years ago.  

Taking place from the 22nd to 27th January 2019, The 2019 World Youth Day is themed, “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word. (Lk 1:38)”.

In line with this theme and Pope Francis’ wish that young people should pray for peace in the world, Aid to the Church in Need has sponsored rosaries as a gift to the young people gathering at the World Youth Day in Panama in January 2019.

ACN has partlysponsored1.5 million Rosary beads made in Bethlehem to be included in the pilgrim kit for every person attending the event. Responsibility for supplying these rosaries has been entrusted to Caritas Jerusalem. In this way, this charity has been able to provide work to many needy families, young unemployed, prisoners and refugees over many months in Bethlehem and its surrounding area. The rosaries, which can also be worn as an armband, have been produced at a cost of one US dollar apiece.

It is expected that there will be at least half a million young people in Panama. Pope Francis has repeatedly called on us to pray this prayer, saying that with the Rosary nothing is impossible, since “the Rosary is the summary of the history of God’s mercy”.

The Pontifical Foundation ACN supports the World Youth Day in Panama with several projects. This also includes the distribution of 34,000 copies of the DOCAT which explains the Catholic Social Teaching in a youth-friendly way, and comes with a foreword from Pope Francis.

The DOCAT will be distributed in huge numbers. A multitude of study groups will be formed. Speaking on the importance of this initiative, Archbishop Ulloa Mendieta of Panama says, ” Once they know the Christian social doctrine, they will also know how to fight corruption, end violence, establish democracy, make freedom happen and create wealth with the power of the Gospel”.

Together with Pope Francis, he dreams of a revolution of love and justice that will affect all the countries of the region – from Mexico to Panama!

Pope Francis supports this with all his heart. He will distribute the DOCAT books and the DOCAT smartphone app to the World Youth Day pilgrims as his personal gift.

Up to 1,000,000 digital versions are also set to be distributed. The only condition is: Whoever takes a book has to form a study group. There is a free digital study guide to help animate these DOCAT study groups. All pilgrims can also download the DOCAT smartphone app which will also be freely available. Dedicated support and mentoring by 35 social doctrine experts from all over the world will also be available to the DOCAT recipients on how to work with Catholic social teaching to build a fairer society.

ACN Malta