“The world youth meeting is a work of reflection and testimony for the world” Pope Francis

With a video message sent from the Vatican, Francis closed the World Youth Meeting organized in Sao Paulo by Scholas Occurrentes, World ORT and the Leo Werthein Foundation.

San Pablo, October 26, 2023 – Pope Francis celebrated this Thursday the closing of the VI World Youth Meeting held in San Pablo and affirmed that the international event is an instance of “work, reflection and testimony” so that hundreds of children from different parts of the world, upon returning to their communities, have the will and mission to replicate the lessons of tolerance and peace that they have experienced through dialogue with their peers.

Movement, gratuitousness and encounter. The meeting, to be human, has to be free. And for there to be an encounter, there has to be movement,” the Pope said in his message, at the conclusion of the international event in San Pablo.

More than 100 young people from eighty cities in 25 countries met for four days in the State of São Paulo to celebrate coexistence, intercultural dialogue and diversity, with a view to contributing to the construction of a more just and united world. The event took place amid international commotion over recent terrorist attacks in the Middle East.

Almost a decade ago, José María del Corral, theologian, pedagogue, founder and current world director of Scholas Occurrentes, and the Leo Werthein Foundation, an institution committed to education and culture, joined forces in favor of expanding these meetings with the conviction of that education is the key to a more just and peaceful world.

After touring the stage where the young people were with the flags of their countries, Del Corral expressed excitedly: “I went around the world and discovered another world.” In that sense, he added: “This week, these young people realized that we do not have to hide the differences, no more, we are what we are and we are proud to be what we are. And it is clear that if we want a global world, as Pope Francis says, that world is made up of many identities. It is possible to continue believing that we can build a better world.”

This event was declared of public interest by the prefect of Jaguriúna, Gustavo Bernardes Reis, as an opportunity to bring young people closer to a transformative experience that values diversity, unity and the collective after inviting them to develop activities in their community.

The event had the strategic support of Vrio Corp, a company that operates SKY Brazil and DIRECTV Latin America, which through its comprehensive sustainability program Propósito Vrio was held in parallel and in the same place as the V Escuela Plus Congress, in which Teachers, education experts and authorities from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia met.

The VI World Youth Meeting held in San Pablo concluded with the planting of the traditional olive tree of peace and commitment to hold a next meeting next year.