Thursday, 11 August 2011

A&B Young People Arrive in Madrid for World’s Biggest Youth Festival – and the Pope

Young people from across the UK including Arundel & Brighton Diocese have arrived in Madrid and are settling in to the local diocese they have been sent to. For A&B that is Salamanca.

Fr David King with a few of the A&B WYD pilgrims

Catholic Communications Network reports:
In total 3200 pilgrims from the UK will walk alongside 2 million pilgrims from every continent to see the Pope for World Youth Day (16-21 August) and there’ll be no need for wellies and waterproofs - temperatures are set to soar.

The late Blessed John Paul II began the World Youth Days which have become the biggest mobilisation of young people ever in the cause of peace. Organised by the Catholic Church, WYD brings together young people from around the globe to celebrate and learn about the Catholic faith. This 26th WYD will be the largest event Madrid has ever hosted, with over two million young people expected in the city. It has as its theme “Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith” (cf. Col 2:7).

World Youth Days are celebrated every 3 years in a different country – the last World Youth Day took place in Sydney, Australia in 2008. World Youth Days are simply the biggest gathering of young people in the world - 5.000.000 pilgrims attended World Youth Day in Manila, Philippines, which was the largest gathering of people in history. Other World Youth Days have attracted similar large numbers:

1991 – Czestochowa, Poland – 1.600.000

2000 – Rome – 2.000.000

2005 – Cologne, Germany – 1.200.000

The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI will arrive in Madrid on Thursday 16 August and depart on Sunday 21 August.

Full itinerary for World Youth Day, Madrid: http://www.madrid11.com/

The official World Youth Day week begins on Tuesday 16 August with an opening Mass in Madrid’s Cibeles Square (where Real Madrid celebrate championship wins), presided over by the archbishop of Madrid and concelebrated by the bishops and priests participating in World Youth Day.

In the days leading up to World Youth Day, August 11-15, 2011, many dioceses from Spain will welcome young pilgrims from across the world for Days in the Diocese; the Days are centred around three pillars - prayer, solidarity and culture. The young pilgrims will spend a few hours each day helping the local church in her outreach to the poor and local community building.

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