Spain: Program for the World Youth Day in Madrid

Source: FSSPX News

After a week spent in the different dioceses of Spain, the participants in the WYD will assist at the opening Mass in Madrid on August 16 at 8:00 p.m.  It will be celebrated by Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of the Spanish capitol, who will invite the youth to the catachesis the following morning and to the festival of youth that, according to its organizers, is supposed to be “a dynamic and artistic expression of faith in Christ.”  At the end of June, almost 440,000 persons were signed up for this 26th edition of the WYD.  According to Cardinal Stanislav Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for laymen, more than 285,000 participants come from Europe; 88,000 from America (North and South); 20,500 from Asia; 9,500 from Africa and 1,300 from Oceania.

The Pope is expected in Madrid on August 18, towards the middle of the day.  The welcoming ceremony, with the youth present, will begin at 7:15 p.m.  Benedict XVI will begin by entering through the Gate of Alcala to arrive at the Plaza de Independencia, accompanied by young people from the five continents.  He will then be taken by car to join the participants in the WYD gathered to welcome him at the Plaza de Cibeles where he will address a few words to them.

On August 19, the Pope will go to the Palace of Zarzuela, residence of the king Spain.  There he will meet with the sovereign and his spouse at 10:00.  After this meeting, the Pope will go to San Lorenzo de El Escorial, about 50 kilometers from the capitol.  He will be received at 11:30 in the royal monastery where he will greet some young Spanish religious before meeting with and addressing a discourse to young university professors at 12:00 in the basilica.

On his return to Madrid towards 1:45 p.m., Benedict XVI will lunch with a few young people at the apostolic nunciature.  And in this same place, at 5:30 p.m., he will then meet with José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, socialist president of the Spanish government since 2004.  At 7:30 p.m., the Pope will deliver a homily for the WYD Way of the Cross, at the Plaza de Cibeles.  Each station will be illustrated by a work coming from different regions of the Iberian peninsula.

On August 20, the day will begin at 9:00 a.m. for the Sovereign Pontiff, with confessions for some young people in the gardens of Buen Retiro, in Madrid – which will be a new addition to the WYD.  At 10:00 a.m., Benedict XVI is expected by seminarians from around the world in the Almudena Cathedral of Madrid for the celebration of his Mass, during which he will deliver the homily.  The celebration will be followed by a luncheon at 12:45 p.m., with the pontifical delegation of Spanish cardinals and prelates from the Madrid region, at the residence of Cardinal Antonio María Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid.  A meeting with the WYD organization committee is planned at the nunciature at 5:00 p.m.

In the beginning of the evening, the Pope will visit the Foundation of St. Joseph's Institute, an assistance center for handicapped members of the Hospital Order of St. John of God.  At 8:00 p.m., Benedict XVI will join the youth from around the world on the fields of the Cuatros Vientos airport for the prayer vigil during which he will give another sermon.

The next day, on August 21, at the same site, the Pope will celebrate the closing Mass for the WDY, at the end of which he will recite the Angelus.  He will then announce where the next WDY will take place in 2013.  It seems that it will most likely be Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.  According to the organizers, there should be about 1.5 million faithful at the closing Mass of the WDY; it will be concelebrated by hundreds of bishops and thousands of priests.

After a luncheon with the Spanish cardinals at the apostolic nunciature, the Pope will go at 5:30 p.m. to meet some volunteer workers for the WDY, who will be gathered at Madrid's exposition park.  A speech is planned.  At 6:30 p.m., for the departure ceremony, Benedict XVI will give one last discourse on Iberian territory.  This ceremony will take place at the Madrid Barajas airport before the 7:00 departure of the plane that will arrive in Rome Ciampino at 9:30 p.m. (source: apic/imedia – DICI#238, July 16, 2011)

N.B. In the next DICI (#239, August 13) we will publish an analysis of Cornelia R. Ferreira's work, The World Youth Days, an Instrument of Change for the New Church (Ed. Sanctus Martinus).