About three thousand young Jesuits from all over the world are expected in Portugal between the 22nd and 31st of July, for an international meeting that precedes the World Youth Day, which officially opens on August 1st.
“Since the World Youth Day takes place in Portugal, it is up to the host Jesuit province to organize MAGIS, the great pre-Journey meeting, which brings together young people linked to the Jesuits and Ignatian spirituality [de Inácio de Loyola, fundador da Companhia de Jesus] who come to participate in WYD. Portugal therefore hopes to host (…) around three thousand young people from more than 90 different countries”, informs the portal of the Portuguese Jesuits Ponto SJ.
The theme of this meeting of young Jesuits – aged between 18 and 35 -, “Creating a future full of hope”, is inspired by one of the four Universal Apostolic Preferences, the apostolic guidelines of the Society of Jesus for the 2019- 2029, more specifically in the third: “Accompanying young people in creating a future full of hope”.
According to the Society of Jesus, during the days in which MAGIS takes place, “the Ignatian youth of various countries will integrate various experiences, which will help to reflect, share and celebrate together the preparation for WYD 2023”.
The initiative is “an invitation to experience the joys and anxieties of so many people, possible thanks to the diversity of so many participants, and to experience the presence in the heart of each one of a shared desire for fairer societies capable of offering more possibilities and generating life” , adds.
This world program took place for the first time in 1997, in France, but it was in 2005, in Germany, that it gained its name and became an official meeting, which was repeated in the following years.
A few years later, in 2011, in Spain, it was attended by thousands of participants from 50 countries and it was in that year that it acquired its current form.
Meanwhile, the Society of Jesus has just presented the heading “Do you have company to go to WYD” on its website and on its social networks, with the aim of transmitting “all the news about the participation of the Society and of all those connected to the Jesuits in this great meeting of young Catholics with the Pope”.
“The purpose of this weekly heading is to mobilize, enthuse and bring together pilgrims who are going to participate in MAGIS or just in WYD through the Society’s organizations or provide it, such as schools, university centers, summer camps or parishes”, inform the Jesuits.
Lisbon was the city chosen by Pope Francis for the next edition of World Youth Day, which will take place between the 1st and 6th of August, with the main ceremonies taking place in Parque Tejo, north of Parque das Nações, on the bank riverside of the Tagus, on land in the municipalities of Lisbon and Loures.
WYD was born on the initiative of Pope John Paul II, after the success of the meeting promoted in 1985 in Rome, in the International Year of Youth.
The first edition took place in 1986, in Rome, having already passed through Buenos Aires (1987), Santiago de Compostela (1989), Czestochowa (1991), Denver (1993), Manila (1995), Paris (1997), Rome (2000 ), Toronto (2002), Cologne (2005), Sydney (2008), Madrid (2011), Rio de Janeiro (2013), Krakow (2016) and Panama (2019).
The 2023 edition, which will be closed by the Pope, was initially scheduled for 2022, but was postponed due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Pope Francis was the first person to register for WMJLisboa2023, on October 23 last year, at the Vatican, after the celebration of the Angelus. This gesture marked the worldwide opening of registration for the world meeting of young people with the Pope.