26th World Youth Day, Madrid, 18-21 August 2011
Pope Benedict XVI

Message for the 26th World Youth Day (6 August 2011)
On the Solemnity of the Transfiguration, the Holy Father announced the theme for the upcoming World Youth Day: “Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith" (Col. 2:7), with particular reference to Europe's need to rediscover its Christian roots.

Opening Eucharist in the Plaza de Cibeles (16 August 2011)
On Tuesday evening, 16 August 2011, the Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid gave the homily at the inaugural Mass of the 26th World Youth Day, in the Plaza de la Cibeles. In his homily, the Cardinal welcomed the young people to Spain, urging them, in the words of Bl. John Paul II, to "let Christ reign in your hearts!"

In-flight Press Conference (18 August 2011)
Here is the text of the press conference the Holy Father gave on Thursday, 18 August 2011, on the flight to Madrid. Fr Federico Lombardi, SJ, Director of the Vatican Press Office and of the Vatican Television Centre, put to the Pope questions selected from those submitted by the journalists on the papal flight.

Welcome Address of the King of Spain at the Arrival of the Pope (18 August 2011)
On Thursday, 18 August 2011, King Juan Carlos I welcomed the Holy Father to Spain, at Madrid-Barajas International Airport, in the following address.

Welcoming ceremony at Madrid-Barajas International Airport (18 August 2011)
Midday, on Thursday, 18 August 2011, the Holy Father arrived at the Madrid-Barajas International Airport, where he addressed the King and Queen, the Cardinal Archbishop, other Bishops, priests, and civil dignitaries.

Welcoming celebration by the young people at Plaza de Cibeles (Madrid, 18 August 2011)
Thursday evening, 18 August 2011, the Holy Father met with the young people gathered at the Plaza de Cibeles, where he addressed them, in various languages, encouraging them to come closer to Christ.

Homily, Liturgy of the Word with Young People in the Plaza de Cibeles (18 August 2011).
Following the welcoming ceremony a Liturgy of the Word was celebrated, during which the Holy Father delivered a homily on putting the words of the Gospel into practice, that they may be "spirit and life."

Meeting with women religious at Patio de los Reyes de El Escorial (19 August 2011)
Following a private visit at the Palace of the Zarzuella with the King of Spain, Juan Carlos I, and Queen Sofia, Pope Benedict XVI travelled to the Monastery of El Escorial, where he met with Women Religious.

Meeting with university professors in the Basilica de San Lorenzo, El Escorial (19 August 2011)
After meeting with women religious in the monastery of St. Lawrence, the Pope met with young University professors
in the Basilica at the El Escorial complex.

Way of the Cross with young people at Plaza de Cibeles (Madrid, 19 August 2011)
When he had concluded
meeting with the President of Spain at the Apostolic Nunciature, Pope Benedict XVI proceeded to the Plaza de Cibeles for the Way of the Cross with the youth gathered there.

Holy Mass with Seminarians, Cathedral of la Almudena (Madrid, 20 August 2011)
On Saturday 20 August, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Holy Mass with seminarians at Madrid's Cathedral of Santa María la Real de la Almudena.

Visit to Fundación Instituto S. José for disabled youth (Madrid, 20 August 2011)
On Saturday evening, 20 August, the Holy Father visited the Fundación Instituto San José for disabled youth. In his address to the young people, the Pope spoke of the sufferings of Christ, and of the Blessed Mother and the Saints who followed in His footsteps.

Prayer Vigil with the Young People at Cuatro Vientos Airport (20 August 2011)
Saturday evening, on 20 August, after his visit to the
Fundación Instituto San José, the Holy Father led a Prayer Vigil at Cuatro Vientos Airport of Madrid. In his address, the Pope assured the young people of God's love for us, encouraging them to open their hearts to His love.

Holy Mass on the occasion of the 26th World Youth Day at Cuatro Vientos Airport (21 August 2011)
On Sunday morning, 21 August, the Holy Father celebrated Holy Mass at Cuatro Vientos Airport of Madrid, to conclude the 26th World Youth Day. In his homily, the Pope distinguished two different ways of knowing Christ, that based on human opinion and that based on faith, which is a gift of God.

Recitation of the Angelus Domini at Cuatro Vientos Airport (21 August 2011)
Following the concluding Mass of the 26th World Youth Day, at Cuatro Vientos Airport of Madrid, the Holy Father led the recitiation of the Angelus Domini, at which time he addressed encouraging words to the young people gathered there.

Meeting with volunteers of the 26th World Youth Day at Pavilion 9 of the new Trade Fair of Madrid-IFEMA (21 August 2011)
On Sunday evening, 21 August 2011, the Holy Father met with the volunteers of the 26th World Youth Day at Pavilion 9 of the new Trade Fair of Madrid-IFEMA, where he thanked them for all their help.

Farewell ceremony at Madrid-Barajas International Airport (21 August 2011)
On Sunday evening, 21 August 2011, the Holy Father bade farewell with gratitude to the King and Queen, and to civil and ecclesiastical authorities, at the Madrid-Barajas International Airport, before his departure back to Rome.


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