World Youth Day began with John Paul II's invitation to young people in 1984 to come to Rome for Palm Sunday. More than 300,000 turned out for the celebration.The following year - 1985 - coincided with the United Nations International Year of Youth. On Palm Sunday that year, young Catholics came to Rome once again.
Then on December 20th, the Pope announced the first official WYD meeting for 1986. The second international WYD gathering took place in Buenos Aires in 1987.
John Paul II -"As I said from day one of my pontificate, you are the hope of the Pope, you are the hope of the Church."
There have been 10 large scale World Youth Day celebrations that were attended by the pope, and each one had a specific theme.
World Youth Day played a special role in John Paul II's papacy.
John Paul II - “If you spend time with young people, you too will remain young.”
Benedict XVI has carried on the World Youth Days instituted by John Paul II – as a symbol of hope for young people.