Braga: Symbols of WYD 2023 received at a party at local Universities

Wednesday, March 1, 2023 - 14:23
Agência Ecclesia

D. José Cordeiro speaks of «contagious» enthusiasm, which «exceeded expectations»


The universities of Braga today received the World Youth Day (WYD) symbols, which travel through the territory of the Minho archdiocese, promoting this year's meeting in Lisbon.

“From surprise to surprise, this pilgrimage of the cross and the Marian icon has been contagious”, Archbishop Primate told ECCLESIA Agency.

The Catholic official highlighted the impact of this pilgrimage on the “academic environment”, sharing the “joy of truth”.

“Love is contagious, love in the form of a cross meets all realities. In universities there are men and women, especially young people, in search of the meaning of life, of the mystery of their own existence, in search of the truth”, he added.

The Archbishop of Braga stresses that “the Gospel is for everyone”, crossing all realities, from parties to human suffering.

“The Church's identity, her citizenship, is among the people,” he insisted.

On the final stretch of the pilgrimage of WYD symbols through the archdiocesan territory, D. José Cordeiro highlights the “enthusiasm” of the communities and institutions visited, which “exceeded expectations”.

The Regional Center of the Catholic University of Portugal (UCP), University of Minho and the Barcelos campus of the IPCA – Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave were stops this Monday.

“This is an important day for the Academies, in order to arouse some curiosity among university students” about WYD, Father Eduardo Duque, director of the University Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Braga, told journalists.

“We run the serious risk of seeing a set of news, every day, on the news, about WYD, which are anything but what matters, in fact”, he added.

For the priest, the WYD that Portugal hosts this year, for the first time, is “the face of a living Church, the face of a Church that is Jesus Christ”.

Young people, he added, expect “authenticity, exemplarity, competence, co-responsibility and cultural solidity”.

“The Church that young people want is a Church close to them”, maintained Father Eduardo Duque, for whom it is fundamental to offer an “authentic experience” of Jesus.

“If they find mediocrity in the Church, young people turn away,” he warned.


The University Pastoral of the Archdiocese of Braga wants to provide young university students with the opportunity to “feel the spirit of joy and communion that will be lived, in August this year, at the WYD in Lisbon, motivating them to want to live this event with enthusiasm”, indicates a note sent to the ECCLESIA Agency.

João Duque, pro-rector of the UCP, considers that the university is an environment where this passage makes “a lot of sense”, raising awareness among young people for WYD 2023 and the role of youth “in the future of the planet”.

“We are doubly happy for this reception”, he told journalists.

The official welcomed the “wave” that was created in the Archdiocese, with the passage of symbols, in a “difficult phase” in the life of the Catholic Church.

The presence of more than 1 million young people in Lisbon is seen by João Duque as a sign of “great hope”.

The pilgrim Cross and the icon of Our Lady 'Salus Populi Romani' have been on pilgrimage through the Portuguese dioceses since November 2021, towards WYD Lisbon 2023.

After passing through the UCP, the symbols arrived at the Gualtar campus of the University of Minho.

Laura Cainé, a sixth-year medical student, told ECCLESIA Agency that this has been a “long journey”, organized by a group of about ten people who are preparing some activities, towards WYD 2023.

“It is a moment open to everyone, the objective is to symbolize the union between peoples, without discarding anyone”, she explained.

The program ends at the Centro Pastoral Universitário de Braga, with the Eucharist, presided over by the primate archbishop, D. José Cordeiro, animated by the 'Tun'ao Minho', with the presence of students, teachers and employees from the different academies of Braga.

This celebration is followed by a convivial dinner, enlivened by the performance of different academic tunas.

The cross and the Marian icon, symbols of the World Youth Day, arrived this Sunday in the city of Braga, in a great moment of celebration, after visiting the other 13 archpriests of the archdiocese, where they remain until Friday, then heading to Aveiro .