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World Youth Day 2002

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Title: World Youth Day 2002  
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Subject: World Youth Day, World Youth Day 2005, Catholic Youth Organization, Matthew 5:14, Thomas Rosica
Collection: 2002 in Ontario, 2002 in Religion, History of Toronto, World Youth Day
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

World Youth Day 2002

XVII World Youth Day
Date July 23, 2002 (2002-07-23)-
July 28, 2002 (2002-07-28)
Location Toronto, Canada
Type Youth festival
Theme You are the salt of the earth ... you are the light of the world" (Matthew 5:13-14)
Participants John Paul II

The 17th World Youth Day 2002 (WYD2002) was a Catholic youth festival held July 23-July 28, 2002, in Toronto, Canada. World Youth Day is a celebration of faith begun by Pope John Paul II held on an international level every two to three years, and WYD2002 was the 10th such event. It was also Pope John Paul II's last World Youth day. An estimated 400,000-500,000 youths from all over the world participated in the week-long festival. Although WYD is designed for Catholics, it attracts sizable numbers of youths from other faiths and denominations and was presented as a multi-faith celebration of young people from all over the world.

As the event is ultimately an expression of faith, and a critical expression of faith is through service to others, World Youth Day 2002 had the support of some 25,000 volunteers; and some 100,000 pilgrims themselves spent three hours each on one of 750 service projects.

The theme of the event was "You are the salt of the earth ... you are the light of the world" (Matthew 5:13-14).

The groundswell of Catholic spirituality following World Youth Day 2002 in Canada led to the establishment of Canada's first national Catholic television network, Salt + Light Television. Fr. Thomas Rosica, who was the National Director of WYD2002, is also the founder and Chief Executive Officer of this new television station.


  • Days in the Diocese 1
  • John Paul II's Last WYD 2
  • Theme song 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • Additional Notes 6
  • External links 7

Days in the Diocese

World Youth Day 2002 solidified Days of the Diocese, held in various dioceses - with the majority in Montreal, Quebec and London, Ontario - as a major component leading up to the actual WYD Celebrations.

The scale is massive: Days of the Diocese involved the participation of 35 of Canada's 72 dioceses. Events in various communities welcomed pilgrims from all over the world with music, prayers, and cathechetical sessions.

The week-long World Youth Day Celebrations involved the use of some 129 Catholic churches and 7 halls at Exhibition Place, 10 stages (as well as Downsview Park and 5 other parks in Toronto), 30 seminars, 10 prayer experiences, 300 vocational or service group exhibits, 10 cultural gatherings.[2]

John Paul II's Last WYD

With deteriorating health, there was speculation that the Pope would not be able to attend the celebrations.

At his arrival address, he thanked the local, provincial, and federal levels of the Canadian government for supporting the idea of hosting WYD. He recalled his previous Apostolic Journeys to the country and acknowledged that he does not have the same physical strength he once had.[3]

Pope John Paul II participated by being present at all the major events of the week. While not being able to participate in person, he did view the Friday Stations of the Cross via television coverage by the CBC.[4]

He led the Saturday evening vigil and presided over the Holy Mass on the Sunday, delivering a homily which focused on entrusting the future of the Church to the youth. A crowd of over 850,000 was in attendance for these events.[5]

Theme song

The theme song, "Light of the World" was composed by Fr Robert Lebel, a Quebec priest and a well-known composer of French-language religious music; and translated into English by Bishop Paul-André Durocher. Four official versions were released as follows:

  • "Lumière du monde" (International) - with an English/French chorus, and four verses in French, English, Spanish and Italian, respectively.
  • "Light of the World" (English)
  • "Lumière du monde" (French)
  • "Lumière du monde" (Instrumental)

The songs were released on a two disc official CD set entitled "Lumière du Monde/Light of the World", released by Oregon Catholic Press (OCP). The album featured bands such as Critical Mass, Susan HooKong Taylor, Janelle, and Jesse Manibusan, among others.

Other versions were also released in localised languages which include the following Chinese versions released by Photon Distribution, Inc. on the disc entitled The Way 4 - Light of the World:

  • "Light of the World" (粤話版) - with Cantonese verses and an English/Cantonese chorus translated by the "World Youth Day 2002 Theme Song Cantonese Translation Team" and sung by Tony Leung and Agnes Tao.
  • "Light of the World" (國話版) - with Mandarin translations by Kevin Cheung; sung by Ricky Cheung and Martina Lee.
  • "Light of the World" (Chinese Instrumental) - arranged by James Ng with Chinese instruments

See also


  1. ^ Closing Mass Homily
  2. ^ Memorial Garden at Downsview Park
  3. ^ Pope's Arrival Address
  4. ^ CBC Way of the Cross broadcast
  5. ^ World Youth Day 2002 in numbers

Additional Notes

External links

  • Current information on World Youth Day
  • EWTN coverage of World Youth Day 2002
  • Official World Youth Day 2002 documents from the Vatican
  • Theme song information and lyrics

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