In order to make all WYD Lisbon 2023 volunteers missionaries, the Gesto Missionário initiative was created. The objective is, in communion with Pope Francis, to reach out to the most vulnerable who may be in homes, hospitals or prisons.
World Youth Day (WYD) Lisbon 2023 challenged all Volunteer Team Leaders to become missionaries. Thus, through the Gesto Missionário initiative, everyone is invited to contact and get to know an institution located in the Diocese of Santarém, Setúbal or Lisbon and to visit it, on the 27th of July, with their team.
During the visit, Team Leaders and other volunteers will have the opportunity to make known, to the most vulnerable, the biggest meeting of young people from all over the world with the Pope. There will still be time to talk, encourage and pray, bringing the joy of God to all those who cross paths with them.
At the end, each volunteer should bring with them a bracelet with the names of those they visited so that, in a symbolic way, they can take them with them until the final meeting with the Pope.
Echoing the words of Pope Francis in his Encyclical Fratelli Tutti, “isolation and closure in ourselves or in our own interests will never be the way to return to giving hope and bringing about renewal, but it is proximity, the culture of encounter”, thus, thanks to these missionaries, WYD Lisbon 2023 will be a meeting of everyone for everyone.
The Missionary Gesture initiative will include visits to more than 48,000 people, spread across around 600 institutions (homes for the elderly, drug addiction centers, hospitals, prisons and centers for people with disabilities, among other social support infrastructures).