Krakow 2016

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy"

Matthew 5:7

Pilgrims carry a cross to the altar during a Mass at the close of World Youth Day's missionary week in Nilopolis, Brazil. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)


Pilgrims and leaders: sign up for Krakow 2016 updates

News and Updates

Polish archDiocese of poznan welcomes american pilgrims to "Days in the dioceses"

If you choose to planning to take part in the WYD 2016 "Days in the Dioceses," there are several options available to you from around Poland. If you are interested in this, you can contact the individual dioceses of Poland directly. Go to the international Krakow 2016 website to contact them about your interest.

The Diocese of Poznan has extended a special invitation to the United States: "You will spend the first three days outside of Poznan with families in the parishes of Greater Poland region. Days in the Dioceses will take place all over Poland. The Archdiocese of Poznan has offered a warm welcome to pilgrims, as have many other dioceses all over Poland. Registration for Days in the Dioceses will open July 1st and can be accessed through the official Krakow 2016 site. The schedule of events will refer directly to the three following blessings: “Blessed are the poor in spirit”, “Blessed are the clean of heart” and “Blessed are the merciful”. During those days you will learn about the local traditions and the culture, as well as pray together with the youth from all over the world and the people of Archdiocese of Poznan. It will be an excellent opportunity for you to enjoy the Polish hospitality, which has been admired since the earliest centuries. There will also be time for fun activities.

For the weekend of 23 and 24 July you will gather in Poznan together with the Polish youth and other pilgrims from abroad. On 23 July you will get to know the capital of Greater Poland a little bit more. Yet, it will not be traditional sightseeing but you will walk along unique evangelical and educational paths. On Saturday evening you will be invited to Poznan’s parishes, where, apart from fun activities, you will taste the local cuisine. On Sunday we will all meet at the Youth Festival. We will celebrate the Commissioning Mass in the Pilgrim Zone “JORDAN”. Afterwards, there will be adoration, worship and concerts." 

In addition, you are welcome to take part in Days in the Dioceses in Poland, as well as other European countries such as France or Ireland. If you are interested in these opportunities, please contact the WYDUSA office in Washington, DC.

The Market Square is a popular gathering place in Krakow, Poland


Bishop Caggiano's Update to the bishops at the June General assembly

"Pope Francis calls us to smell like the sheep. WYD is a wonderful chance to do that, even if those sheep smell like tired, sweaty, hungry young people! In all seriousness, WYD is a unique opportunity to be on pilgrimage with our young people..."
Read the full address here.

the official INTERNATIONAL WYD website

Visit the official WYD Krakow 2016 website for the latest WYD details. Registration for Krakow 2016 opens on July 1st.  VIEW


Hear the WYD 2016 hymn, "Blessed are teh Merciful" in Polish on YouTube, or visit the official website to learn more about the hymn. The English and Spanish versions of "Blessed are the Merciful" can be found HERE.


The WYD 2016 logo unveiled!

In July 2014, Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz and leaders from the WYD local organizing committee released this logo, which  was designed by 28-year-old graphic designer Monika Rybczyńska from Ostrzeszów, Poland and Emilia Pyza, a 26-year-old graphic designer from Garwolin, near Warsaw, Poland.


The logo features the outline of Poland with a marker that signifies the location of Kraków as well as the face of the young people who will gather there for World Youth Day in 2016. The city and the pilgrims are situated at the foot of Christ and the Cross, from which flow the red and blue rays of Divine Mercy. The colors of the logo (red, blue, and yellow) are the official colors of the city of Kraków.


World Youth Day 2016 Official Prayer

God, merciful Father,
in your Son, Jesus Christ,
you have revealed your love

and poured it out upon us
in the Holy Spirit, the Comforter,

We entrust to you today
the destiny of the world
and of every man and woman.

We entrust to you, in a special way
young people of every language, people and nation:
guide and protect them as they walk
the complex paths of the world today

and give them the grace to reap abundant fruits
from their experience of the Krakow World Youth Day.

Heavenly Father, grant that we
may bear witness to your mercy.

Teach us how to convey
the faith to those in doubt,

hope to those who are discouraged,
love to those who feel indifferent,
forgiveness to those who have done wrong
and joy to those who are unhappy.

Allow the spark of merciful love

that you have enkindled within us
become a fire that can transform hearts
and renew the face of the earth.

Mary, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.
St. John Paul II, pray for us.


Patron Saints of Krakow 2016

The patron saints of World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow are Saint John Paul II and Saint Faustina. Both are from Poland and their lives became intertwined as they followed God's voice in their lives.

"Saint Faustina is the one the world acknowledged as the Apostle of Divine Mercy, the author of a bestseller titled simply “Diary,” which has been translated into over 30 languages.  This mission was continued by Pope John Paul II. On the 30th of April 2000, he not only included her among the saints but also fulfilled Jesus’ wish by establishing Divine Mercy Sunday for the whole Church.He said at that time: “I have a truly great joy today, showing the whole Church what a gift of God the life and testimony of Sister Faustina Kowalska is for our times. [...] Through this canonization today, I want to transmit the message of Mercy to the new millennium. I give it to all the people, so that they can learn to get to know the real face of God and the real face of man even better.” Visit their biographies on the official WYD 2016 site to learn more about these twentieth century saints.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state, celebrates a Mass of thanksgiving for the beatification of Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

WYD Program

The official schedule of events

  • World Youth Day will take place in Kraków, Poland, from Tuesday, July 26, to Sunday, July 31, 2016. The schedule of central events at WYD 2016 will follow the traditional pattern as previous World Youth Days:

    • Tuesday, July 26: Opening Mass with Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, Archbishop of Kraków
    • Thursday, July 28: Welcome Ceremony for the Holy Father, Pope Francis
    • Friday, July 29: Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) with Pope Francis
    • Saturday, July 30: Evening Vigil with Pope Francis
    • Sunday, July 31: Concluding Mass with Pope Francis

  • Preceding the central WYD activities, "Days in the Dioceses" will take place in 44 dioceses around the entire country of Poland from Wednesday, July 20, to Monday, July 25, 2016.
  • During the "Days in the Dioceses," Poland will be known as Campus Misericordiae ("Camp Mercy").
  • Pilgrims with simple accommodations are expected to be lodged nearby their catechetical site in parishes, schools, dorms, gyms, or tents at varying distances from Kraków city center (NOTE: the sooner the group registers, the closer they will be to the city).
  • Catechesis with a bishop will take place for three consecutive days (Wed. to Fri., July 27-29):

    • For two of these days, pilgrims will attend a catechesis session at their nearest catechetical site (in their preferred language at one of 300 venues around the city)
    • On one of these days, pilgrims will be given the opportunity to make a pilgrimage to the Divine Mercy Sanctuary in Kraków (NOTE:different days and times for the Divine Mercy pilgrimage will be assigned for each group during their registration process).

Important travel information

  • The meal plan will be a mixed system:some meals will be distributed at housing and catechetical sites; others will be available at local restaurants with a meal card; pilgrim food packets for the final vigil and mass will be distributed by a catering company on Saturday, July 30.
  • Transportation will be included in the registration costs for trams, buses, and trains around Kraków.
  • The location of the WYD central events will be Błonia Park, a large meadow adjacent and directly west of Kraków's historic city center.This park has hosted large open-air Masses celebrated by Pope John Paul II in 1979, 1983, 1987, 1997, and 2002 and by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006.
  • The final Vigil and Mass is expected to be held in Błonia Park; however, this is not yet confirmed.
  • The WYD organizing team is seeking 30,000 Polish volunteers and 6,000 international volunteers (in both long and short-term capacities); if you are interested, visit the website to support WYD.

The organizers hope that 2016 will be an opportunity for pilgrims to discover the origins of World Youth Day, as Kraków was the place where Karol Wojtiła was formed, inspired, and called to serve Christ and the Church as a young person himself. As Cardinal Dziwisz said to the WYD delegates and organizers from around the world who gathered in Rome this spring, "To truly know a poet, one must visit that poet's homeland.To truly know St. John Paul II and World Youth Day, one must come to Kraków."

*Registration is now open. Pilgrimage leaders should go to to begin the registration process for their groups.