The WYD Cross was known by different names: Holy Year Cross, Jubilee Cross, World Youth Day Cross, Cross Pilgrim, and many call WYD Cross because she was given by Pope John Paul II to young people to they take around the world, everywhere all the time.
The wooden cross was built 3.8 meters and placed as a symbol of the Catholic faith, near the main altar in St. Peter's Basilica during the Holy Year of Redemption (from Easter 1983 to Easter 1984 ). At the end of that year, after closing the Holy Door, Pope John Paul II gave this cross as a symbol of Christ's love for humanity. Those who received it on behalf of all youth, young people were the International Youth Center San Lorenzo, Rome). these were the Pope's words on that occasion: "My dear young people, the end of the Holy Year, I entrust them to you the sign of this Jubilee Year: the Cross of Christ! Take her to the world as a sign, 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 "(Pope John Paul II, Rome , April 22, 2004).
The youth responded to the Holy Father. Since 1984, the cross of WYD pilgrimage through the world, through Europe, beyond the Iron Curtain and into villages and towns in the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australia, being present in every international celebration of the Day World Youth. In 1994, the cross began a commitment that has since become a tradition: the annual day for the diocese of the host country in international WYD as a means of spiritual preparation for the big event.
The icon of Our Lady
In 2003, Pope John Paul II entrusted to the youth another symbol of faith to be taken all over the world with the Cross: the Icon of Our Lady, Salus Populi Romanix. This icon, is a copy of a venerated icon in Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome (the first and the largest basilica in Rome dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary). "From now on it will accompany the World Youth Days, together with the Cross. Behold, your Mother! 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." (Angelus, 18th World Youth Day, 13 April 2003).