World Youth Day Cross & Icon in the Chapel at the Shrine
WORLD YOUTH DAY CROSS & ICON
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
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.