World Youth Day will be held in Portugal Aug. 1-6; Pope Francis is ready — are you?

Pope Francis speaks to young people in a video message released by the Vatican in preparation for World Youth Day, which will be held in Lisbon, Portugal. (CNS screengrab/Courtesy Holy See Press Office)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — With a green light from his doctor, Pope Francis has assured young people that he will be with them in Portugal for World Youth Day despite having surgery in June.

“Some think that because of the illness I won’t go, but the doctor told me that I can go, so I will be with you,” the pope said in a video message for pilgrims traveling to Lisbon, Portugal, for World Youth Day Aug. 1-6.

In the video, filmed by Auxiliary Bishop Américo Manuel Alves Aguiar of Lisbon, the pope held up a backpack with the World Youth Day logo, saying “I am ready to go. I have everything in hand because I am looking forward to going.”

The Catholic Post would like to hear from pilgrims from the Diocese of Peoria who are planning to go to World Youth Day. How are you getting there? Who are you traveling with? And why are you going?

We would be happy to have photos and comments about your experience for a story when you return. Contact Jennifer Willems at or (309) 677-7036.

Safe travels!

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