It was the Holy Year of the Redemption (1983-1984). Pope John Paul II felt that there should be a cross - the symbol of our faith - near the main altar in Saint Peter's Basilica where it could be seen by everyone. A large wooden Cross, 3.8 meters high, was placed there according to the Holy Father's desire. At the end of the Holy Year, after the Pope had closed the Holy Door, he entrusted that Cross to the youth of the world, represented by the young people from the San Lorenzo Youth Centre in Rome. His words on that occasion were:

Learn About the 2023 World Youth Day in Lisbon, Portugal

It was the Holy Year of the Redemption (1983-1984). Pope John Paul II felt that there should be a cross - the symbol of our faith - near the main altar in Saint Peter's Basilica where it could be seen by everyone. A large wooden Cross, 3.8 meters high, was placed there according to the Holy Father's desire. At the end of the Holy Year, after the Pope had closed the Holy Door, he entrusted that Cross to the youth of the world, represented by the young people from the San Lorenzo Youth Centre in Rome. His words on that occasion were:

- San Lorenzo Youth Centre (Rome, 22 April 1984)

Buenos Aires, Argentina April 11th-12th 1987

Theme: "We ourselves have known and put our faith in God's love towards ourselves" (1Jn 4:16)

Santiago de Compostela, Spain August 15th-20th 1989

Theme: "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life" (Jn 14:6)

Czestochowa, Poland August 10th-15th 1991

Theme: "You have received a spirit of sonship" (Rom 8:15)

Denver, USA August 10th-15th 1993

Theme: "I came that they might have life, and have it to the full" (Jn 10:10)

Manila, Philippines January 10th-15th 1995

Theme: "As the Father sent me, so am I sending you" (Jn 20:21)

Paris, France August 19th-24th 1997

Theme: "Teacher, where are you staying? Come and see" (cf. Jn 1:38-39)

Rome, Italy August 15th-20th 2000

Theme: "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (Jn 1:14)

Toronto, Canada July 23th-28th 2002

Theme: "You are the salt of the earth ...you are the light of the world" (Mt 5: 13,14)

Cologne, Germany August 16th-21th 2005

Theme: "We have come to worship Him" (Mt 2:2)

Sydney, Australia July 15th-20th 2008

Theme: "You have received a spirit of sonship" (Rom 8:15)

Madrid, Spain August 16th-21th 2011

Theme: "Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith" (cf Col 2:7)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil July 22nd-29th 2013

Theme: "Go and make disciples of all nations!" (cf. Mt 28:19)

Krakow, Poland July 25-31, 2016

Theme: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy"(Mt 5:7)

Panama City, Panama January 22-27, 2019

Theme: "I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." (Lk 1:38)