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Thousands gather as Pope Francis visits Lisbon


Thousands of Catholic pilgrims have gathered in Lisbon over the week starting August 1 hoping to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis.

The pontiff’s visit comes as a part of World Youth Day, which is held every three years in a different city. Despite its title, the celebration is actually several days long and includes a number of events from concerts to large outdoor Masses.

A few days ahead of the Pope’s visit the Pilgrim Image of Our Lady of Fatima is carried on the Tagus River aboard a traditional barge into Terreiro do Paço dock in Lisbon.  (Photo by Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
Setting the Stage! The Prime Minister of Portugal Antonio Costa makes pre-event inspection of the city’s main Catholic altar, along with the Bishop and Mayors of Lisbon. (Photo by Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
French pilgrims arrive ahead of World Youth Day and ensure everyone has what they need.  (Photo by Luis Boza/VIEWpress)

This year’s World Youth Day has arrived a year late due to the lockdowns following the Coronavirus pandemic.

Despite fears that Pope Francis’ recent health issues would cause another postponement, he arrived in Lisbon on the morning of August 2. He is set to hold Masses and take Confession from many of the attendees over the course of five days.

Pope Francis is welcomed by the President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and two children at the Lisbon airport. Pope Francis is visiting Portugal for World Youth Day (WYD), which takes place over the first week of August. (Photo by Vatican Media via Vatican Pool/Getty Images)
Pope Francis and President de Sousa share a laugh as the Pontiff signs the book of honour during his welcoming ceremony at Lisbon’s Belem Palace. (Photo by Andre Kosters – Pool/Getty Images)

Alongside young Catholics, the clergy also made a showing as hundred of priests, nuns and monks came to the city to attend Mass with the leader of their faith.

Nuns pray after receiving Communion at the inaugural Mass presided over by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon Manuel Clemente on the first day WYD in Lisbon’s Parque Eduardo VII (Photo by Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Getty Images)
Chilling in the name of the Lord. One “Father Trendy” enjoys the sunshine in the park. (Photo by Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Getty Images)
Sister Act: These nuns fly the colours for Zimbabwe while other pilgrims hoist their own country flags and chant while gathering before the inaugural mass. (Photo by Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Getty Images)

Pope Francis will travel around Portugal during his five-day visit holding Masses and Confession for young people and meeting Portuguese Catholic clergy members, he will also visit The Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima.

The Pope and Portuguese President sit beneath the seals of the Vatican (L) and the Republic of Portugal (R). During his time at Belem Palace, Pope Francis met with the authorities, civil society and diplomatic corps of Portugal. (Photo by Antonio Pedro Santos/Pool – Getty Images)
Of course, no Papal visit would be complete without the obligatory baby-kissing. (Photo by Jose Sena Goulao/Pool – Getty Images)

The late Pope John Paul II inaugurated World Youth day as an international Catholic rally to invigorate young people in their faith.

While the event is distinctly Catholic, it is open to young people of all backgrounds.

A couple kissed onstage after one lucky lover-boy asked his paramour to marry him. Presumably she agreed to do so. Young Spanish pilgrims gathered at Estoril Casino Gardens to celebrate with a rock concert on the eve of World Youth Day. (Photo by Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
French pilgrims hoist a banner depicting the Virgin Mary. (Photo by Luis Boza/VIEWpress)
Crowds gather in the hope of catching some time in the presence of the Pope. (Photo by Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Getty Images)