Benedict XVI arrives in Madrid for WYD
Benedict XVI is now in Madrid. The papal plane landed at Barajas airport at noon. He was then greeted by the local Church and civil authorities, including the King of Spain, Juan Carlos, who thanked the pope for his third visit to Spain.
The King of Spain also took time to remember the visits of John Paul II.
Don Juan Carlos
King of Spain
“We dedicate a special remembrance to John Paul II who also made his third trip to Spain in 1989 for the fourth World Youth Day in Santiago de Compostela. For the second time, this youth event has returned to Spain and welcomes young people from every corner of the Earth.”
The king spoke about the high unemployment currently facing many Spanish youth.
The pope also noted the concerns expressed by young people in finding work or feeling discrimination for their faith.
“I say again to young people, with all the strength of my heart: let no one take away your peace, don't be ashamed of Christ. He had no qualms about becoming one of us and experiencing our anguish to bring us to God, and by doing this he saved us.”
Benedict XVI gave his thanks to everyone that welcomed him in his first trip to the Spanish capital.
“I send my greetings to those who are gathered here in Barajas and those following this event via radio and television. And also I give my thanks to those who gave such dedication and commitment, from Church and civil authorities, who have contributed their effort and work so that World Youth Day in Madrid could become a joyful and fruitful event.”
For this World Youth Day, the pope has said that he would like to meet with young Catholics and non-Catholics from around the world.
“On this special occasion we share aspirations, mutually exchange the wealth of cultures and experiences, encourage one another in a journey of faith and life, in which some believe they are alone or ignored in their everyday environments.”
Benedict XVI was also greeted at the airport by pilgrims, a group of 60 children dressed as the Swiss Guard, and several groups of musicians known as tunas. The popemobile then departed, carrying the pontiff to his lunch with the apostolic nuncio of Spain, Mosignour Renzo Fratini, before the pope's meeting with young people in the Plaza de Cibeles.
WYD Madrid 2011: Young people crowd Plaza de Cibeles to welcome the pope
Benedict XVI was greeted by hundreds of thousands of young people in Madrid's Plaza de Cibeles. This is pope's first event with young people for World Youth Day.
The event's official choir welcomed the popemobile as it went through a sea of flags from every continent.
The archbishop of Madrid, Antonio Maria Rouco Varela received the pope on behalf of all young people.
Archbishop of Madrid
“Many have been coming to Madrid with a large number of their Spanish peers after a successful pilgrimage route by the dioceses, cities and towns of Spain. Here they are, Holy Father, to enjoy this meeting with the pope as children and brothers of the Church: The new People of God that knows no bounds! They have endorsed the project and have high spiritual and apostolic hopes that the Father and Shepherd of the Universal Church proposes: that their lives are rooted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith!”
Five young people from different parts of the world and dressed in traditional clothing greeted the pope. Each offered a welcoming gift typical of their country.
The pope thanked the young people for their warm welcome to Madrid, a city the he defined as the “capital of the world's youth.”
“Through your presence and your participation in these celebrations, the name of Christ will echo throughout this great City. Let us pray that his message of hope and love will also resound in the hearts of those who are not believers or who have grown distant from the Church”.
Benedict XVI also noted the importance of implementing the teachings of Jesus.
“Dear young people, listen to the words of the Lord that you are in 'spirit and life,' roots that nourish your being, behavior patterns from which we resemble the person of Christ, being poor in spirit, hungering for righteousness, merciful, pure of heart, peace-loving. Do it frequently every day, as with the only friend that does not disappoint and with him, we share the road of life.”
The pope said that God never leaves us and is always willing to give a helping hand. He added that Christ is the bedrock that allows a solid and stable life.
“Dear friends, be prudent and wise, build your lives on the firm foundation that is Christ. This wisdom and prudence will guide your steps, nothing will make you tremble and your heart will be at peace.”
The event ended with a hymn to the Virgin Mary and a chorus of Allelluyah.
Source: Rome Reports