Pope Francis has announced that the next World Youth Day will take place in Panama in 2019.
Francis made the announcement as he wrapped up this year’s global gathering of young Catholic faithful in Kraków, Poland.
He didn’t specify exactly where in Panama the event would be held.
Earlier today, the Pope encouraged hundreds of thousands of young people gathered in Kraków to “believe in a new humanity” which refuses to use borders as barriers and spurns hatred among peoples.
For a second straight day, a huge crowd filled the meadow in the gentle countryside outside Kraków for Francis, whose five-day visit to southern Poland was the Argentine pontiff’s first-ever time in Eastern Europe.
Some of the young people even camped out overnight in the field after an evening with the pope there that drew a massive crowd, estimated at 1.6 million by the World Youth Day organizers.
In the final homily of the pilgrimage, Francis said God “demands of us real courage, the courage to be more powerful than evil, by loving everyone, even our enemies.”
The Mass took place in the Campus Misericordiae in Brzegi, a village near Kraków.
On the way, Pope Francis made a quick ride by car to bless two buildings run by the Catholic charity Caritas.
One building was built as a day centre for the elderly, while the other will be a storehouse for food for the needy and is called “The Bread of Mercy.”
On the way out on Sunday morning, Francis nibbled on some dark bread from a big, round loaf offered by women in traditional Polish costumes. He nodded in approval as he chewed away.
During the last few days, the Pope has visited Auschwitz, celebrated Masses and held many meetings with young people.