Every two to three years since 1984, millions of teens and young adults from around the globe gather together for a week of celebrating their faith with the pope.

This year’s World Youth Day festivities started on Tuesday and run until Sunday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, under the motto, “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28, 19).

The WYD committee has selected five patron saints and 14 intercessors for this year’s event, and we were excited to see a Franciscan represented in each category. We ask for their help especially as we hold the millions of young pilgrims in our prayer this week.

PATRON: Saint Anthony from Santana Galvão
Born in Guaratinguetá in 1739. Family with great resources and possibilities, renounced everything and entered into the Franciscan order. Diffusor of peace and love with words and deeds, became the model of delivery. His miracles began while he was still alive, distributing pills made with his own hands, which generated great healings. We invoke as a herald of peace and love!

Pray that, with your example, I will be a promoter of peace and love in all the moments of my life. Amen.

INTERCESSOR: Blessed Sister Dulce
Born in 1914 in Salvador. Since a young age she showed a profound spirit of charity. She was noted for the perseverance and the effort to care for the sicks. She never close a door to a person who needed help. She entered to the Congregation of the Sisters Missionaries of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God. She founded associations and inaugurated schools and hospitals. We invoke her as Ambassatrix of the Charity!

Intercede for us, oh “good angel of Brazil,” so that we are able to joyfully share the gifts we have received with those in need who have been presented to us. Amen.

For those of you young adults in the Washington area, you should attend the Rio in DC event hosted by the Washington Archdiocese and the Franciscan Monastery this weekend.

The event helps young adults (18-35) to enter into the World Youth Day experience and make a pilgrimage of the heart during the week that millions of Young Adults gather in Rio de Janiero with Pope Francis. Like the pilgrims in Brazil, they will gather to listen to Pope Francis (live-feed), meet new Catholic friends, experience a taste of Brazil, pray together, learn about our faith, and celebrate Mass together—all in a single night!