Young people from Spain will make a pilgrimage for 40 days to World Youth Day in Lisbon on Aug. 1–6, 2023. / Credit: Archbishopric of Barcelona

ACI Prensa Staff, Jun 28, 2023 / 13:00 pm (CNA).

Nearly 100 young people from the parishes of St. Matthew and St. Raphael in the Guineueta neighborhood of Barcelona, Spain, will walk 1,276 kilometers (790 miles) over 40 days to reach Lisbon, the site of the 2023 World Youth Day.

The Archdiocese of Barcelona said in a statement posted on its website that  “the pilgrimage to Lisbon is an integral part of this experience, since it represents both an internal and external journey towards the encounter with the Christian faith.”

During the journey, “the young people will immerse themselves in prayer, formation, self-denial, and community life, strengthening their faith and preparing for a transformative encounter with Pope Francis,” the archdiocese explained. 

This pilgrimage will also serve as a fundraiser to restore the chapel of the old Mental Institute of the Holy Cross and to build a new parish center. Sponsors are sought to pledge one euro per pilgrim for each kilometer of the trek.

The chapel was built in 1888 in neoclassical style as designed by architect Josep Oriol Bernadet and was closed almost 40 years ago. After the restoration work, it will be used as a new location for St. Raphael Parish.

The Mental Institute had a capacity for more than 700 patients and was one of the pioneering centers for the care of mental patients in Spain.

The archbishop of Barcelona, Cardinal Juan José Omella, offered a send-off Mass for the young pilgrims and laid and blessed the first stone for the restoration work on the chapel. The total cost of the project is 2.2 million euros ($2.4 million).

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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