Journey of the World Youth Day Cross and Icon of Our Lady
1 July 2007 – 15 July 2008
The World Youth Day Cross and Icon are the travelling
symbols of World Youth Day. Pope John Paul II gave the
Cross as a gift to the youth of the world in 1984 to be carried
across continents as a symbol of Christ’s love for humanity
Since 2003, the Cross has been accompanied by the Icon of
Our Lady, a copy of the painting Salus Populi Romani
(Protectress of the Roman People), a gift from Pope John
Paul II to the youth of the world.
Considered the ‘Olympic Torch’ of World Youth Day, the
Cross and Icon arrived in Australia on 1 July 2007 and are
currently travelling through every diocese in the country.
An indigenous Message Stick is accompanying the Cross and
Icon throughout its Australian journey. The Message Stick is
an invitation from the indigenous people of Sydney to the
indigenous youth of Australia to attend WYD08.
The Cross, Icon and Message Stick will journey across
Australia for 12 months, visiting some 400 communities.
Key JCI statistics: 1 July 2007– 20 May 2008
• 2 JCI Travelling Teams
• 325 days
• 29 dioceses (including the Military Diocese and Maronite Diocese)
• 30 Communities and movements
• c. 65 000kms (including flights)
• c. 2300 events
• 280 – 380,000 people directly present to Cross & Icon
15 Day Walk 1 – 15 July
The Cross and Icon return to Sydney on 1 July for a 15 Day
Walk through the suburbs of Sydney.
This event will be similar to the Olympic Torch Relay and
will culminate in the official walk-in at the Opening Mass
Days in the Dioceses 10 – 14 July
Days in the Dioceses is an opportunity for dioceses across
Australia and New Zealand to host visiting groups of pilgrims
in the days preceding WYD08. It is a cultural exchange in the
context of faith, and will bring WYD08 to every corner of
Australia and New Zealand.
The Archdiocese of Melbourne, for example, is planning to
attract 25,000 overseas pilgrims for its Days in the Dioceses
events. It also has its own volunteer and billeting program.
Days in the Dioceses will also have the practical benefit of
easing international pilgrim entry into Sydney, by allowing for
staggered access via road and rail.
World Youth Day Sydney 2008 Fact Sheet