WYD: Rio de Janeiro

The Telegraph has some astonishing pictures of Pope Francis celebrating farewell Mass on Copacabana beach in Rio with of the 3 million pilgrims attending WYD in Brazil:

Rest here.



Pope in the Box

Whispers in the Loggia:

No text on this one, obviously… still, a key — indeed, unprecedented —
moment of this World Youth Day.

For the record, the Confessor-in-Chief of the hundreds who’ve filled the 200 booths at the “Festival of Forgiveness” in Madrid’s Retiro Park was able to celebrate Reconciliation with three penitents, according to the wires.

As an aside, at this morning’s Mass for Seminarians in the Spanish capital’s Almudena cathedral, Benedict XVI made a rare move, declaring the patron of the Spanish clergy — the 16th century preacher St John of Avila — a Doctor of the Church.

The group of the faith’s great teachers now comprising 34 members and stretching to the door of the 20th century, the last Doctor to be declared came in 1997, when Blessed John Paul II added St Therese of Lisieux — the “Little Flower” — to their number.

As the Carmelite was preceded in 1970 by the first female Doctors — Teresa of
Avila and Catherine of Siena — two of the last four to be named have hailed
from Spain.


Pope Benedict XVI Celebrates Mass in Madrid’s Cathedral

The BBC reports:

Pope Benedict XVI has been greeted by a sea of supporters as he arrived to celebrate Mass at Madrid’s Almudena Cathedral.

He is in Spain for World Youth Day, a Catholic festival bringing together young pilgrims from around the world.

There have been several protests against the cost of the four-day visit, which comes at a time of high unemployment and spending cuts.

The event’s organisers say most costs will be met by the pilgrims themselves.

On Friday riot police confronted protesters in Madrid’s city centre, as priests and teachers hurried young Catholic pilgrims down side streets.

The protest began as the Pope, joined by hundreds of thousands of supporters, took part in a Way of the Cross procession, in memory of the crucifixion of Christ.

Before celebrating Mass at the cathedral with trainee priests, the pope heard confession from four young pilgrims in the city’s Retiro Park, where 200 temporary confessionals had been set up.

The main event on Saturday is an open-air prayer vigil in a military airfield on the outskirts of Madrid.

The BBC’s Sarah Rainsford says wherever the Pope goes hundreds of thousands of ecstatic Catholics are there to meet him.

Protesters were back out on the streets of Madrid on Friday
Up to a million pilgrims from across the world have gathered in the Spanish capital for events.

Celebrations for World Youth Day 2011 began on Tuesday evening with a giant open-air Mass where about 800 bishops, archbishops and cardinals- along with 8,000 priests – tended to the congregation.

The Pope arrived in Spain on Thursday and was greeted at Madrid’s Barajas airport by King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia. He has also meet Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero.


World Youth Day Begins

16 August 2011.

Vatican Radio reports:

Pilgrims are spending the morning registering with organizers and collecting their pilgrim kits, while throughout the day the parishes, oratories and institutes of the diocese are hosting catecheses and devotional prayer ahead of Mass at 8 this evening in Cibeles Square. Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to arrive on the 18th, and preside over the climactic events of World Youth Day, including the solemn Mass concluding WYD Madrid 2011 on Sunday the 21st.

The official World Youth Day site is here.

And there is a really nice flickr photo gallery going that can be checked out here.