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World Youth Day Cross and Icon to travel around United States

June 5, 2018

WASHINGTON—The official World Youth Day (WYD) Cross and Marian Icon, entrusted to the youth and young adults of the world by St. John Paul II in 1984, will make a multi-city tour of the United States in August 2018, the first time in twenty-five years such a coordinated journey has occurred.

The USCCB Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth (LMFLY), in particular its World Youth Day USA (WYDUSA) initiative, is coordinating the national tour.

The Cross and Icon will travel across the country from Sunday, August 19 to Monday, August 27, 2018. The five stops along its U.S. journey will include, in order: Chicago, Illinois; Miami, Florida; Houston, Texas; Washington, D.C.; and Los Angeles, California. 

Archbishop José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, O.S.A., Metropolitan Archbishop of Panama and host of the next international World Youth Day gathering in January 2019, extended the Latin American tour of the WYD symbols to include the United States.

Bishop Frank Caggiano of Bridgeport and WYD Episcopal Liaison for the USCCB, said, "We are grateful for this opportunity to host these incredible and unifying symbols in our country. I hope that young people and young adults will have an encounter with Christ and his mother Mary through the Cross and Icon, just as many have during World Youth Day. This summer tour is also very timely because August 2018 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the last time the pilgrim cross made a journey across the United States in advance of WYD 1993 in Denver."  

The Cross has traveled around the globe since 1984, when St. John Paul II gave it to young people. It has been part of every World Youth Day celebration beginning with the first official WYD event in Rome in 1986. In 2002, the Cross came to Ground Zero in New York City for a brief visit to bring comfort to the nation's young people in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In 2003, St. John Paul II presented the world's youth and young adults with a Marian Icon, under the title of Salus Populi Romani, which has accompanied the WYD Cross for the past fifteen years.

The USCCB is coordinating efforts with local dioceses, institutions, and pastoral leaders in each of the five hosting locations. More information about the nationwide journey of the WYD symbols will be released, as details are known, on the USCCB's World Youth Day website, and social media channels (@wydusa).


Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, World Youth Day, WYD, Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth (LMFLY), World Youth Day USA, St. John Paul II, World Youth Day (WYD) Cross, Marian Icon, Archbishop José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, Bishop Frank Caggiano, youth, young people, 9/11, tour


Media Contact:

Judy Keane


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