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Schedule set for Pope's August trip to World Youth Day in Madrid

Catholic World News - June 27, 2011

The Vatican has released the official schedule of an August visit to Madrid by Pope Benedict XVI, where the Pope will participate in the 26th World Youth Day.

Pope Benedict will leave Rome on Thursday morning, August 18, arriving in Madrid at midday. After a short airport welcoming ceremony, the Pontiff will rest until the evening, when he will meet with young people from all over the world in the city’s Plaza de Cibeles.

On Friday the Pope will celebrate a private Mass at the residence of the apostolic nuncio, then pay a courtesy call to Spain’s King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia. Then he will have meetings first with religious and then with university professors—in each case, with an accent on youth. That afternoon he will meet with Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. In the evening he will return to the Plaza de Cibeles to lead the Stations of the Cross.

On Saturday the Pope will hear the confessions of some World Youth Day participants, then celebrate Mass with seminarians. In the afternoon he will meet with the organizing committee for World Youth Day. Then in the evening he will lead a prayer vigil with the young people.

On Sunday, August 21, the Holy Father will celebrate Mass for World Youth Day at the Cuatro Vientos airport. After lunch with the Spanish hierarchy, he will leave for the airport and his return flight to Rome, where he is expected at 9:30 pm.

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