Michelle and Paul
In 1984 at the close of the Holy Year of Redemption, more than
300,000 young people from around the world responded to the invitation of His Holiness John Paul II for an International Jubilee of Youth on Palm Sunday in St. Peter’s square. Looking out to the crowds who answered his invitation he said, “What a fantastic spectacle is presented on this stage by your gathering here today! Who claimed that today’s youth has lost their sense of values? Is it really true that they cannot be counted on?” It was at this gathering that the Holy Father entrusted to the youth what is now known as the World Youth Day Cross, to be carried throughout the world as a symbol of the love of Christ for humanity.
The following Palm Sunday, coinciding with the United Nation’s International Year of the Youth, Our Holy Father took the opportunity to welcome the youth of the world to Rome again. On December 20, 1985 he announced the institution of World Youth Day. The first official WYD was held in 1986.
There have been 11 International World Youth Day celebrations, where the youth continue to answer the invitation of the Holy Father in staggering numbers and carry home the message received there to be Christ’s light to the world.
A number of young people have found the loves of their lives, their soul mates, during these International World Youth Days. For Michelle Gonsalves and Paul Duff, it was at WYD in Spain in 2011 that Michelle from Australia and Paul from Ireland first met. A courtship across the world followed and culminated in a Nuptial Mass at St. Gerard's Church, Dandenong North, Victoria, on June 29th, 2013.
There are two reasons why this event should be published here.
Michelle is the creator of this website and also the cousin of
Sister Marie Dorothee, a Little Sister of the Poor.