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While WYD is celebrated every year, it is held in Rome two of those years and then every third year somewhere else internationally. Here is a short history of World Youth Day (WYD): 1984 Rome, St Peter's Square, Palm Sunday 15 April

+ International youth meeting on the occasion of the Holy Year of the Redemption. 1985 Rome, St Peter's Square, Palm Sunday 31 March 1985

+ International youth meeting on the occasion of International Youth Year.

+ The Holy Father addresses an Apostolic Letter to the youth of the world (31 March 1985)

+ He announces the institution of World Youth Day (20 December 1985) 1986 1st World Youth Day - Rome, St Peter's Square, Palm Sunday 23 March

Theme: "Always be prepared to make a defence to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you" (1Pt 3:15) 1987 2nd World Youth Day - Buenos Aires, Argentina 11-12 April

Theme:"We ourselves have known and put our faith in God's love towards ourselves" (1Jn 4:16) 1988 3rd World Youth Day - Rome, St Peter's Square, Palm Sunday 27 March

Theme: "Do whatever he tells you" (Jn 2:5) 1989 4th World Youth Day - Santiago de Compostela, Spain 15-20 August

Theme: "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life" (Jn 14:6) 1990 5th World Youth Day - Rome, St Peter's Square, Palm Sunday 8 April

Theme: "I am the vine, you are the branches" (Jn 15:5) 1991 6th World Youth Day - Czestochowa, Poland 10-15 August

Theme: "You have received a spirit of sonship" (Rom 8:15) 1992 7th World Youth Day - Rome, St Peter's Square, Palm Sunday 12 April

Theme: "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel" (Mk 16:15) 1993 8th World Youth Day - Denver, USA 10-15 August

Theme: "I came that they might have life, and have it to the full" (Jn 10:10) 1994 9th World Youth Day - Rome, St Peter's Square, Palm Sunday 27 March

Theme: "As the Father sent me, so am I sending you" (Jn 20: 21) 1995 10th World Youth Day - Manila 10-15 January

Theme: "As the Father sent me, so am I sending you" (Jn 20: 21) 1996 11th World Youth Day - Rome, St Peter's Square, Palm Sunday 31 March

Theme: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life" (Jn 6:68). 1997 12th World Youth Day - Paris 19-24 August

Theme: "Teacher, where are you staying? Come and see" (cf. Jn 1:38-39) 1998 13th World Youth Day - Rome, St Peter's Square, Palm Sunday 5 April

Theme: "The Holy Spirit will teach you all things" (cf Jn 14:26 ) 1999 14th World Youth Day - Rome, St Peter's Square, Palm Sunday 28 March

Theme: "The Father loves you" (cf. Jn 16:27) 2000 15th World Youth Day - Youth Jubilee - Rome 15-20 August

Theme: "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (Jn 1:14) 2001 16th World Youth Day - Rome, St Peter's Square, Palm Sunday 8 April

Theme: ""If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me" (Lk 9:23) 2002 17th World Youth Day - Toronto, Canada 23-28 July

Theme: "You are the salt of the earth ... you are the light of the world" (Mt 5: 13,14) 2003 18th World Youth Day - Rome, St Peter's Square, Palm Sunday 13 April

Theme: "Behold, your mother!" (Jn 19,27) 2004 19th World Youth Day - Rome, St Peter's Square, Palm Sunday 4 April

Theme: "We wish to see Jesus" (Jn 12,21) 2005 20th World Youth Day - Cologne August 16-21

Theme: "We have come to worship Him" (Mt 2,2) 2006 21st World Youth Day - Rome, St Peter's Square, Palm Sunday 9 April

Theme: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Ps 119, 105) 2007 22nd World Youth Day - Rome, St Peter's Square, Palm Sunday 8 April

Theme: "Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another" (Jn 13, 34)

2008 23rd World Youth Day - Sydney, 15-20 July

Theme: "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses" (Acts 1, 8) World Youth Day (WYD) in 2009 will probably be held at St Peter's Square in Rome on Palm Sunday on 5 April 2009.

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