World Youth Day pilgrims have had their first look at the 2016 event logo after it was unveiled in Krakow, Poland.
The Archbishop of Krakow, and head of the WYD Organising Committee board, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, showed off the logo for the first time at midday Krakow time on 3 July.
The logo features a cross in the centre of the outline of Poland, with a yellow circle marking 2016 host city Krakow. Flowing from the cross is the spark of the Divine Mercy image.
The logo was inspired by the verse Matthew 5:7, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy”, the theme of WYD16.
It incorporates blue, red and yellow, in a nod to the official colours and crests of Krakow.
The logo was designed by Monika Rybczynska, a young woman aged 28 from Ostrzeszow, a small town in the mid-west of Poland.
It was welcomed by Catholics around the world, including Suzanne Austin, Divine Mercy Sunday co-ordinator for St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney and Australian lay representative for the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy
“Poland is the home of the Divine Mercy message, sparked from the interior locutions received by St Faustina from Our Lord Jesus Christ, as recorded in her diary Divine Mercy in my Soul,” she said.
“It’s a befitting theme for the first WYD since Pope John Paul II was declared a saint, given his significant endorsement and love of Divine Mercy.
“These two saints, both patrons of the Sydney 2008 WYD celebration, will no doubt ignite fond memories of that joyful event,” said Suzanne, who gives parish presentations on Divine Mercy.
“The theme for 2016 from the Gospel of Matthew, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy” gives a renewed entry point to further disseminate the Divine Mercy message to the youth and the world.”
Cardinal Dziwisz also presented the official prayer for the 31st World Youth Day, which entrusts humanity and the young to Divine Mercy, asks the Lord for the grace of a merciful heart, and asks the intercession of the Virgin Mary and St John Paul II, patron of World Youth Day.
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.
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.