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Óscar Romero and 7 others chosen as World Youth Day patrons in Panama

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“Let us begin now asking for their intercession for WYD and for those who will participate!”

VATICAN CITY —World Youth Day 2019 is being placed under the patronage of 8 saints and blesseds, including recently beatified Oscar Romero, WYD organizers have announced.

The international gathering will take place in Panama, from January 20-27, 2019.

The patrons include two saints in this region of the world: Peruvian saints, Martin de Porres and Rose of Lima.

St. Martin de Porres (1579 – 1639) was a lay brother of the Dominican Order known for his work on behalf of the poor, establishing an orphanage and a hospital for children. He lived an austere life and fasting and asceticism. Many extraordinary and mystical graces were attributed to him, including levitation, bilocation, miraculous knowledge, healing, and the ability to communicate with animals.

St. Rose of Lima (1586 – 1617) followed the spirituality of the Dominican tertiaries and was known both for both own asceticism and her care of the needy of her city. Canonized in 1671, she is the first saint of the Americas.

The World Youth Day patrons also include St. Juan Diego, to whom the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared in Mexico in 1531; and José Luis Sanchez del Rio, a young “Cristero,” who was killed in 1928, at the age of 14, for refusing to renounce his Catholic faith. He was canonized by Pope Francis at the Vatican last October.

Two saints traditionally associated with WYD also appear on the list: the great educator of youth, St. John Bosco (1815 —1888), and the pope who founded World Youth Day, St. John Paul II (1920-2005).

The final two WYD patrons are blesseds:  Archbishop Óscar Romero (1917 – 1980) of El Salvador, who was assassinated in 1980 while celebrating Mass; and Sister Maria Meneses (1902-1977), a Salesian sister whose love for Jesus and confidence in Our Lady, Help of Christians, led her to serve the needs of the poor, starting with teaching catechism and finishing with a medical center, a school for teaching the social doctrine of the Church, and seven villages for poor families. She is the first person to be beatified from Central America.

“Let us begin asking now for their intercession for this event and for those who will participate,” organizers said on the official WYD 2019 Facebook page.

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