Even Facebook for 440 thousand already registered for World Youth Day in Madrid
Presented at the Vatican ahead of the next World Youth Day, August 16 to 21. Highest number of young people to ever register at this stage. Among the 24 thousand volunteers, there are 50 young people who "work" on social networks and, using 18 languages, have kept 160 thousand of their peers informed.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – There are already 440 thousand young people ("a figure never before reached at this stage given that most young people register at the last moment") from all continents who have registered to participate in World Youth Day to be held in Madrid, Spain, 16 to 21 August this year. To accompany them and welcome them 14 thousand priests, 744 bishops and 24 thousand volunteers. Among them, a sign that the times, following World Youth Day, there are 50 young people who "work" on Facebook and, using 18 languages, have kept 160 thousand of their peers informed.
This is just some of the data that has emerged at this stage of preparation for WYD, revealed today at the Vatican, defined by the card. Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, as "a unique experience of the universal Church which embraces the whole planet, a young Church, full of enthusiasm and missionary zeal. It is an epiphany of the Christian faith on a truly global scale. "
In Madrid, as in all other WYDs, there will also be Pope Benedict XVI. He will arrive in Madrid Thursday, August 18 and at 19.30 will be welcomed by young people in the Plaza de Cibeles. On the morning of Friday, August 19, in El Escorial he will meet with young religious and young University academics. On the same day the traditional lunch with representatives of young people and the Pope will take place The day will end with the Way of the Cross, through the streets of Madrid. Saturday, August 20, in the morning the Pope will visit the centre of reconciliation, where he will hear the confession of some young people, then he preside over a Mass for seminarians in the Cathedral of Madrid, at 20.30, Cuatro Vientos Airport, the prayer vigil will take place with young people. Sunday, August 21 at 10.00 a solemn Eucharistic celebration will close the WYD 2011.
It is the second time that the World Youth Day has been held in Spain, the first was in 1989 in Santiago de Compostela, (pictured) where John Paul II urged young people "not to be afraid to be saints." WYD Madrid is being held under the banner of the recent beatification of John Paul II - the founder of the Days, of which he is now blessed patron and protector.
Returning to the numbers, 700 thousand copies of YOUCAT, the subsidy for young Catholics, will be distributed to the participants, in 6 languages, there will also be 250 places for catechesis to be delivered in 30 languages.
In a way, catechesis is also integrated with the planned cultural program that aims to "show God through Beauty", the words of Benedict XVI, and in this way to help every young person to be rooted and firm in the faith. And film too will also have a special role to play, according to Elsa Vázquez, an international volunteer, speaking in May. On Wednesday, August 17 at Calle Fuencarral "JMJ Punto Cine" will be installed, "a space that invites the pilgrims and the general public to see in the movies stories of believers, rooted and built up in Christ, steadfast in the faith." Film screenings will be held, meetings and discussions with directors, actors and professionals in the world of cinema, a spectacular concert of film music accompanied by the reading of texts by Benedict XVI and the world premiere of a film with the presence of the protagonists.