Our Lady of Europe


World Youth Day Cross & Icon  in the Chapel at the Shrine



The WYD Cross & Icon were entrusted to the youth by Pope John Paul II. They were given the commission to "carry it throughout the world as a symbol of Christ's love for humanity, and announce to everyone that only in the death and resurrection of Christ can we find salvation and redemption."

The cross set out with the young people from St. Peter's in 1984 and has since been carried around the world, making a pilgrimage from parish to parish, diocese to diocese, and country to country.


WYD Icon: The cross does not journey alone. It is always accompanied by an icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary (as Christ Himself was accompanied by his mother in history.) On Palm Sunday in Rome, 2003, a delegation of Canadian youth passed on the cross to that of Germany. On the same occasion, Pope John Paul II entrusted to the youth an icon of the Blessed Mother that would accompany the cross. "It will be a sign of Mary's motherly presence close to young people who are called, like the Apostle John, to welcome her into their lives," said the pontiff.


During its 3-day visit to Gibraltar in April 2011, the World Youth Day Cross & Icon were taken in procession by the Diocesan Youth Ministry to the Shrine of Our Lady of Europe.

The Cross & Icon were brought to Gibraltar by sea across the Straits from the Spanish enclave of Ceuta.

A full programme of events was organised, including the Stations of the Cross through Main Street to the Cathedral of St. Mary the Crowned, visits to schools and a prayer service at the top of the Rock of Gibraltar.  The WYD Cross & Icon were then handed over to the neighbouring Spanish town of La Linea.