WYD Patron Saints: inspiring figures for everyone
July 14,, 2013 (Romereports.com) One of the keywords of World Youth Day is inspiration. Youths from all over the world come together to strengthen their faith and see the Pope. It’s a time to find inspiration both from their peers and from others who have experienced the joy of faith. In the words of Blessed John Paul II, it’s about following the road of the Cross.
Before his resignation, and while preparations were still underway, Benedict XVI agreed that the event was to have 18 Saints and Blesseds as patrons, inspiring personalities and intercessors for the pilgrims.
Some of these figures are especially significant for Brazilian and South-American Catholics, such as Our Lady of Aparecida, Brazil’s patron Saint, Frey Galvão, the first Brazilian-born saint, but also Saint Rose of Lima, the first American to be canonized and Chile’s first saint, young Teresa of the Andes.
However, more well known saints are also on the list. There’s Saint Therese of Lisieux, the patroness of Missions, who is remembered for her complete trust in God. There’s also St. Sebastian and St. Andrew Kim, both witnesses to the courage that lies behind faith.
And even though they have not yet been officially recognized as saints, many other figures are already widely regarded as inspirational for youths of all ages, among them Blessed Pope John Paul II, who established World Youth Days back in 1985. With him, Blessed Chiara Luce Badano, who died at the age of 19 and martyrs like Albertina Berkenbrock, who was raped and killed in 1931.
The list also features Pier Giorgio Frassati, who has become one of the most beloved patrons of World Youth Day. His mortal remains were brought from his hometown of Turin, Italy, to Sydney for WYD 2008. This year, the same journey is expected in Rio.