Polish sailors meet pope at World Youth Day in Panama

A group of young sailors from Poland have met Pope Francis during the Roman Catholic Church’s World Youth Day event in Panama, according to news reports.

The meeting took place at the Apostolic Nunciature in Panama City on Saturday, the Vatican News website reported.

Accompanying the young sailors was Polish Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation Minister Marek Gróbarczyk, according to the website.

A group of young Poles had arrived for the international religious gathering in Panama on board the sailing ship Dar Młodzieży.

Officials earlier invited the pontiff to visit the Polish ship, but that proved impossible for security and logistic reasons, Poland’s PAP news agency reported.

More than 3,500 Poles in total, among them First Lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda, took part in the World Youth Day jamboree, which ended in Panama on Sunday, public broadcaster Polish Radio reported.

The tall ship Dar Młodzieży has pulled into Panama as part of a cruise around the world aiming to promote Poland as it celebrated 100 years of independence.

The ship left the Polish Baltic city of Gdynia in May on its Independence Cruise.

Poland last year marked the centenary of regaining its independence after more than 120 years of foreign rule.

Poland hosted World Youth Day, one of the largest international religious gatherings, in 2016.

Lisbon in Portugal was on Sunday announced as the host of the next World Youth Day, which is due to take place in July 2022.

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