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2011 World Youth Day, August 16-21 in Madrid, Spain


During August 16-21, this year, the city of Madrid, in Spain will host the 2011 World Youth Day promoting the faith "Planted and Built Up in Jesus Christ, Firm in the Faith" (St. Paul)

Pope Benedict XVI will be hosting World Youth Day in Madrid during the Summer 2011.

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Madrid, February 9, 2011 – Benedict XVI will meet with young college professors, the disabled, seminarians, religious sisters, and volunteers during World Youth Day (WYD), which will be held in Madrid this August 16-21.

These meetings will take place in addition to the main events of World Youth Day in Madrid, which will be held in the vicinity of the iconic Plaza de Cibeles located in the city's downtown area, and at the Cuatro Vientos Air Base located in southeastern Madrid. Cuatro Vientos will be hosting the Prayer Vigil and the Closing Mass of WYD, the two events that expect to see the highest attendance.

The Pope will meet with young univeristy professors at the Monastery of El Escorial, the famous sixteenth-century Augustinian monastery located 45 kilometers, or 27 miles north of Madrid. Benedict XVI normally meets with representatives from the academic world on his pastoral visits, however this is the first time he will do so in the context of a World Youth Day. Carla Díez de Rivera, Director of the WYD Cultural Department, emphasized the fact that "this encounter shows the Pope's special esteem for the world of higher learning and culture, as has been seen in similar encounters held in Germany, France, and England."

At this same location, the Holy Father will meet beforehand with a religious group of young religious sisters in the "Patio de los Reyes" area of the monastery.


Meeting with people with disabilities
In addition, the Holy Father will visit the "Fundación Instituto San José", a center run by the Brothers of St. John of God, founded in 1899, that treats people with mental and physical disabilities. During this visit, which will take place just prior to the celebration of the Vigil at Cuatro Vientos, the Pope will meet with a delegation of disabled persons participating in World Youth Day in addition to the residents of the center. The Hospitaller Order of St. John of God is present on every continent, with about 320 centers, covering a wide range of charitable services.

María José González-Iglesias, Coordinator of the Section for Disabled, has shown her appreciation for the fact that the Pope will meet with youth with various disabilities, emphasizing that "this is a beautiful gesture on the part of the Holy Father towards those with disabilities."

Benedict will also meet with the seminarians who will participate in World Youth Day and will celebrate a Mass for them in the Cathedral of "La Almudena".
Rounding off his trip to Spain, Benedict XVI will meet with World Youth Day volunteers at the IFEMA Fairgrounds, in gratitude for all those who during WYD have offered their tireless and selfless support in the organization of World Youth Day.

The Pope is a fan of "the WYD of Social Networks"Benedict XVI encourages making good use of networks and supports the 'Like' option as a means of witnessing to the faith.





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