History

In 1989 Pope Saint John Paul II welcomed the youth of the world to Santiago de Compostela in Spain for the 4th World Youth Day. He put this challenge to them: ‘It is up to you young people that the task first falls of bearing witness to the faith and bringing into the Third Millennium the Gospel of Christ, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.’ Among the thousands of young people present, John Paul II’s call touched the heart of Ernest Williams who knew that it would be young people living a life totally for God, shining like bright stars in the dark sky, that would bring the Gospel to the world. God planted in Ernest the vision of Youth 2000, a chain of young people in adoration around the entire world. In Ernest's own words: ‘It is the vision of Youth 2000 to infuse the hearts of young people through Eucharistic gatherings with a desire for union with the heart and mind of Christ Jesus.’ 

The first Youth 2000 festival of prayer was launched in Medjugorje in 1990, where 7,000 young people gathered from across 24 countries to discover the living person of Jesus, many for the first time. Inspired by this experience and filled with hope, many young people returned home to the U.K. desiring to share the joy and love that they had discovered in coming to know Jesus. Over the past 28 years, hundreds-of-thousands of young people have met Jesus Christ through the mission of Youth 2000.