From Aug. 1-6, Pope Francis joined 1.5 million Catholics for the World Youth Day celebration in Lisbon, Portugal.
Throughout the week, countless young people prayed, attended Mass, and participated in various gatherings to grow in their Catholic faith.
EWTN News attended the event, asking many attendees why they journeyed to Lisbon.
21-year-old Juliana from Sarnia, Canada told journalists that she felt called to attend World Youth Day.
She said she “had to say yes” after previous involvement in the occult and recently returning to the Catholic Church. Juliana added that she felt as if she was in “a spiritual battle.”
“I didn’t know about World Youth Day at all. It’s not something I’ve ever heard about,” Juliana told EWTN.
“I’ve most recently come back to the church and was involved in the occult. I’ve felt that I’m in a spiritual battle. So when they invited me to come, I felt that God was calling me and I had to say yes.”
Watch Juliana’s testimony below:
EWTN reporters also asked Juliana what she hoped to gain from World Youth Day.
“I hope to feel inspired by everyone’s faith and to grow my own faith–to go deeper and just learn more from other people,” Juliana explained.
The Canada native added that receiving the Eucharist helps her “feel closer to God.”
“Every time I have the Eucharist, I feel his light and love just wash over me,” Juliana explained. “It brightens my day so much and I leave feeling so much better than I did before.”
World Youth Day 2027
Pope Francis announced on Aug. 6 that the next World Youth Day will take place in Seoul, South Korea in 2027.
“In 2027, from the western border of Europe, (World Youth Day) will move to the Far East, and this is a beautiful sign of the universality of the church and the dream of unity of which you are witnesses.”