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WYD 2011 Ends Spectacularly; Next One In Brazil’s Rio

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MADRID, Spain, Aug. 21 (HDS): The 26th World Youth Day being held in Madrid, ended today in a spectacular way with an open air Mass presided over by Pope Benedict XVI.

An estimated about two million youth from all over the world participated in the celebrations at the Cuarto Vientos Air Force Base in the outskirts of Spain’s capital.

Looking at the unprecedented gathering the Holy Father declared, “Seeing you here, gathered in such large numbers from all parts of the world, fills my heart with joy”.

“Yes, the Lord loves you and calls you his friends”, he added.

“Faith is not the result of human effort, of human reasoning, but rather a gift of God”, reminded the Pontiff.

“Make Christ, the Son of God, the centre of your life” and then he cautioned youth, “but let me also remind you that following Jesus in faith means walking at his side in communion of the Church.”

The Holy Father urged “I ask you, dear friends, to love the Church which brought you to birth in the faith…and led you to discover the beauty of his love”.

Urging the mammoth gathering of youth “to love the Church which brought you to birth in the faith…and helped you to discover the beauty of his love”, the Holy Father encouraged youth “to bear witness The Church”. 

At the end of the Holy Mass, the Pope declared that the next World Youth Day will be held at Rio de Janeiro of Brazil in 2013.

As a sign of transfer of responsibility to locally organise the event, a large cross was handed over the youth representatives of Brazil.

Last evening, the Holy Father presided over the night vigil at Cuatro Vientos, which was attended by an estimated 1.4 million youth.

As the prayer began, there was a storm accompanied by showers. But the inclement weather failed to dampen the high spirit of the youth gathered at the air force ground in the outskirts of Madrid.


Undaunted by the inclement weather, the youth began chanting, "These are the youth of the Pope."


Thereafter, in about 40 minutes, as the Holy Father began his speech, the skies cleared, bringing the temperature down.


The Holy Father told them, "Young people, thank you for your joy!" as they responded with more cheers.


The Indian delegation led by the CCBI President Cardinal Telesphore Toppo felt, “it was a veritable pilgrimage of faith, testifying to the communion with the universal Church and its Shepherd”.


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