Thursday, June 7, 2012:
Saint George chosen as Intercessor for 2013 World Youth Day
Saint George, “our” Martyr Patron Saint, has been selected as one of the intercessors for the World Youth Day being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, next year. The Holy Intercessors have been selected alongside five Patron Saints.
The patron saints are Our Lady of Aparecida, St Sebastian, St Galvao, St Therese of Lisieux and Blessed John Paul II. It was the latter who had founded World Youth Day in 1984.
Beside the five Patrons, thirteen other Saints and Blesseds have been chosen as Intercessors and they include St Rose of Lima, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati and St George Martyr, soldier of the Roman Empire who was martyred in 303.
The martyr St George, the virgin St Rose and contemporary confessor Blessed Pier Giorgio Frascati, together with other saints and blesseds, were mostly holy young people who are especially meaningful to the young people of all times as well as to the Catholics of South American countries.
It was in the 2002 World Youth Day held in Toronto, Canada, that saints were for the first time chosen as patrons for the global youth event.
Other intercessors chosen by the Brasilian hosts of the forthcoming World Youth Day – and announced by the organising committee on last Pentecost Sunday – include Blesseds Laura Vicuna, Joseph of Anchieta, Albertine Berkenbrock, Isidore Bakania and the recently beatified Italian teenager Chiara Badano.
Besides being the patron of many countries and cities, as he is of our island of Gozo, St George is one of the fourteen Holy Helpers of the Church.
This is how the Catholic Church prays on St George’s Day: “Extolling your might, o Lord, we humbly implore you that, as Saint George imitated the Passion of the Lord, so he may lend us ready help in our weakness”.
This is indeed a prayer that issues well from the heart of the all, and especially the youth of the contemporary world.
Visit the Offical Website of WYD 2013 for more information.