ACU students and staff are making the pilgrimage to the historic Polish city of Krakow for an event bigger than the Rio Olympic Games: World Youth Day 2016.
The 37 ACU students and staff from all campuses are among more than 500,000 people from across the globe, along with Pope Francis, making the journey to Poland for the 14th edition of what has become one of the largest gatherings of young people in the world.
Initiated by Pope John Paul II in 1984 at the close of the Holy Year of Redemption, more than 300,000 people descended on St Peter’s Square in Vatican City for the Jubilee of Young People. The success of this event and the following year (coinciding with the United Nations International Year of the Youth) would lead to the first official World Youth Day in 1986.
The ACU contingent left Australia on Friday 15 July, beginning their 22-day journey in one of the jewels of Europe, the Greek capital of Athens. This will be the launching pad for the pilgrimage up the north-eastern coast of Greece before returning to Athens.
The trip will continue off the Greek coast before heading to Krakow for a week of activities and events from 25-31 July, including Holy Mass, which is expected to draw the largest crowd.
ACU has enjoyed a strong involvement with World Youth Day for the best part of a decade, sending pilgrims to the events in Sydney, Madrid, and most recently in Rio de Janeiro.
Follow the pilgrimage of our ACU students and staff at http://blogs.acu.edu.au/wyd/ for daily blog entries, images and videos from World Youth Day.