Jul 092008

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

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