Pope Francis on Sunday made official his participation at World Youth Day in Lisbon next year, the largest gathering of young Catholics that had been postponed because of coronavirus.
The event, begun by pope Jean Paul II in 1986, usually takes place every three years but was moved from this year to 2023 due to the pandemic.
“There, I have registered,” the pope said, tablet in hand, standing with two young people from Portugal at the window overlooking St Peter’s Square, where he delivered his weekly Angelus prayer.
The pontiff said he had registered “as a pilgrim” for the event.
Around one million people are expected in Lisbon for World Youth Day next year, which runs from August 1 to 6.
“Dear young people, I invite you to register for this meeting in which, after a long period of staying at a distance, we will rediscover the joy of the fraternal embrace between peoples and between generations, which we need so much!” the pope said on Sunday.