1957 Rome pilgrimage foreshadowed World Youth Day

Friday 25 August marks the 60th anniversary of the Rome Pilgrimage organised by the International Young Christian Workers (Jeunesse Ouvrière Chrétienne) movement.

The 1957 Rome Pilgrimage, attended by 32,000 young workers from every continent, also foreshadowed the future World Youth Days launched by Pope St John Paul II, according to a letter addressed to Pope Francis by the Cardijn Community International (CCI), the International Young Christian Workers (IYCW), and the International Coordination of Young Christian Workers (ICYCW).

The anniversary falls one month after the 50th anniversary of the death of Joseph Cardinal Cardijn, founder of the movement.

“For ten days we have lived with the Lord on Tabor and with the Holy Spirit in the Cenacle. We have seen the Y.C.W. transfigured—its apotheosis,” commented Joseph Cardijn, at the end of the Rome pilgrimage.

“I have never attended a more joyful and spiritual event,” Romeo Maione, the Canadian YCW leader, who was elected president of the movement at the first international council held after the pilgrimage, later recalled.

British Pathé recorded the pilgrimage on newsreel, which is now available on YouTube: