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Looking for coverage of World Youth Day Rio 2013?

Stay here if you want to see what happened at World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid or World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney. But for the most recent World Youth Day, in Rio de Janeiro, click on the link.

Go there!




Remembering World Youth Day 2011: Madrid

Pope ends World Youth Day trip with many words of thanks

Pope Benedict XVI said he was leaving Madrid filled with gratitude to the Spanish people, the World Youth Day organizers and volunteers and the million-plus pilgrims who prayed with him.

Full story




A pilgrim smiles even as rain falls during the World Youth Day prayer vigil with Pope Benedict XVI at Cuatro Vientos airfield in Madrid Aug. 20. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Driving rain, wind don't dampen spirits during World Youth Day vigil

Hours after firefighters doused overheated pilgrims with much-needed jets of water, the heavens added to their efforts by driving rain and wind onto the more than 1 million young Catholics camping at Cuatro Vientos airbase for the World Youth Day vigil.

Full story






A Brazilian pilgrim cheers the announcement that the next World Youth Day will be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2013. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Pope tells young to build on their faith, share it with the world

In his homily at the closing Mass of World Youth Day, Pope Benedict said faith is not about understanding a bunch of facts, "it is an ability to grasp the mystery of Christ's person in all its depth."

Full story





At Mass with seminarians, pope says he'll proclaim new doctor of church

Telling seminarians they must prepare seriously for the priesthood by devoting themselves to becoming saints, Pope Benedict XVI gave them a role model: St. John of Avila, who will become the Catholic Church's 34th doctor of the church.

Full story




Young people carry the World Youth Day cross during the Way of the Cross led by Pope Benedict XVI in Madrid Aug. 19. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Mood changes as pope, young people reflect on suffering in Way of Cross

The mood at World Youth Day changed dramatically late Aug. 19 as Pope Benedict XVI and hundreds of thousands of young people turned their thoughts to suffering.

Full story






Pope Benedict XVI pretends to play a piano made out of cake after meeting young people for lunch in Madrid Aug. 19. (CNS/L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

Eating with pope is a permanent memory; the menu, not so much

Lunch with Pope Benedict XVI was an unforgettable experience for 12 young people at World Youth Day. Just don't ask them what they ate.

Full story



Pope offers challenges to young professors, young religious

Pope Benedict XVI's meetings with young religious women and young university professors, held in the same complex, had very different tones.

Full story




Pope Benedict XVI walks onstage as he arrives for the World Youth Day welcoming ceremony in central Madrid Aug. 18. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Youths welcome pope to WYD; he asks them to think about faith

Formally welcomed to World Youth Day by a boisterous, flag-waving throng of hundreds of thousands of young people from around the world, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged their enthusiasm but also urged them to be strong, solid and think about their faith.

Full story







Denver archbishop urges youths to live faith boldly, publicly

A panel of prominent Catholics, led by Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, urged thousands of World Youth Day pilgrims to live out their faith boldly in the public square.

Full story




Youths from Diocese of Brownsville, Texas, wear matching T-shirts at the opening service of the U.S. bishops' vocation fair during World Youth Day in Madrid Aug. 17. (CNS/Paul Haring)

World Youth Day vocations fair helps young people put God first

The fair began with exposition of the Eucharist and prayer with Boston Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley. Activities unfolded throughout the day and included a concert as well as opportunities for young people to mingle with religious women and men.

Full story



On plane to Madrid, pope says WYD refreshes, strengthens the young

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT -- Pope Benedict XVI described the World Youth Day celebrations as a "waterfall of light" that refreshes, nourishes and strengthens young Catholics and, therefore, can bring hope to the world.

Full story




Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan greets World Youth Day pilgrims from New York Aug. 17 in Madrid. (CNS/Paul Haring)

N.Y. archbishop speaks to young adults

Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. bishops' conference, spoke Wednesday at one of the catechesis sessions that are an integral part of World Youth Day.

See photos

Full story



Video: World Youth Day opens

Scenes from Tuesday evening's official opening of World Youth Day in Madrid.

Link to video






Members of the World Youth Day delegation from Cuba pose for a photo in Toledo, Spain, before heading to Madrid for the main events of the Aug. 16-21 international youth gathering. (CNS/Tom Tracy)

For Cubans, Spanish hospitality and a sense of the universal church

Cuban delegation members - including several nuns, priests and married couples - participated in Days in the Diocese, an immersion experience that precedes World Youth Day.

Full story






Pilgrims fill Madrid's Plaza de Cibeles for the opening Mass of World Youth Day. The Aug. 16 Mass was dedicated to Blessed John Paul II, who hosted the first such international gathering of Catholic youths in Argentina in 1987. (CNS/Paul Haring)

At opening Mass, WYD pilgrims begin 'days you will never forget'

A cloudless blue sky turned to inky night as hundreds of thousands of pilgrims participated in the opening Mass for World Youth Day, celebrated by Madrid Cardinal Antonio Rouco Varela in the Plaza de Cibeles.

Full story

See photos





More World Youth Day headlines:


Remembering World Youth Day 2008: Sydney

A young man carries a crucifix during a ceremony welcoming Pope Benedict XVI to World Youth Day in Sydney. (CNS/Paul Haring For secular Australia, World Youth Day was wake-up call

In what is often seen as one of the most intensely secular nations in the world, Australia received a wake-up call: the faith of the church on public display over the weeklong celebrations of World Youth Day.

Full story



More stories from Sydney:




On our blog ...

Notes on papal meeting with special nun; behind the scenes at the vigil

Madrid 11 comes to a close, but Rio 13 on the horizon

Cuatro Vientos: a sea of devout Catholics

Pope hears confessions in the park at WYD

Pope to declare St. John of Avila a doctor of the church

One word to describe day in Madrid: chaotic

Buen Retiro park: an oasis at World Youth Day

Sweet sounds of sisters singing

Music I’m listening to at WYD

A lesson from Pope Benedict, dinner with the U.S. bishops

Inspiration in Madrid — Tony Melendez and Pope Benedict

Seeing the pope ‘takes my breath away’

Don’t Stop Believin’: Serenades on Madrid’s Metro

High-fives and aching feet: Excitement builds

Pilgrims will be in awe of pope today

High-fives and aching feet: Excitement builds

A day for cultural and liturgical festivities in Madrid

Art and adventures in a Spanish grocery store

Busy streets in Madrid, and the opening Mass

Parents of seven living the World Youth Day experience

‘Off my game’ in Madrid, keep the prayers coming

Arrival in Madrid, and what’s inside the backpack

Experiencing the church as a worldwide family

Packing ‘light’ for World Youth Day

Humility for WYD pilgrims at Lourdes

WYD: Patiently waiting for what God has in store

Restlessness and excitement


Links to WYD sites:





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