Yesterday, the World Youth Day Press Office for WYD 2011 Madrid made Pope Benedict XVI’s official itinerary public for this August’s World Youth Day. While the agenda is similar from past World Youth Days, it has a couple of new events.
For the first time as part of WYD, Pope Benedict will be meeting with 2,000 young university professors in the Basilica. “This encounter shows the Pope’s special esteem for the world of higher learning and culture,” said Carla Díez de Rivera, Director of the WYD Cultural Department.
While past World Youth Day’s have included a meeting and Mass with seminarians, WYD Madrid will also include a meeting with religious sisters at the Monastery of El Escorial.
Friday night’s Stations of the Cross will be held using 14 statues that have been contributed from different parts of Spain. The Stations will take place on the Paseo De Recoletos, between Plaza de Cibeles and Plaza de Colón.
The Saturday evening prayer vigil and Sunday morning closing Mass will take place at the Cuatro Vientos Air Base, located in the southwest corner of the city, approximately 8 km from downtown Madrid. The airfield also hosted the 2003 encounter of Pope John Paul II with Spanish youth.
The Papal Itinerary for WYD 2011 is as follows:
THURSDAY, AUGUST 18
12:00 Arrival at Barajas Airport.
Welcome Ceremony at the State Hall.
12:40 Entrance into Madrid in Popemobile and arrival at Nunciature.
19:00 Welcome Ceremony with youth at Cibeles.
In Plaza de la Independencia (near Cibeles), he will pass through the Puerta de Alcalá with youth from all the continents. After this event, he will travel in Popemobile to Plaza de Cibeles.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 19
11:30 Meeting with young religious sisters in “Patio de los Reyes” at the Monastery of El Escorial.
Meeting with 2,000 young college teachers in the Basilica.
19:30 Stations of the Cross in Plaza de Cibeles.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 20
10:00 Mass for seminarians in the Cathedral of “La Almudena”.
19:40 Visit to the “Fundación Instituto San José”, a center for people with disabilities run by the Hospitaller Order of St John of God.
20:30 Prayer Vigil with youth at Cuatro Vientos Air Base.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 21
09:00 Arrival at Cuatro Vientos and Popemobile tour of the area.
09:30 Closing Mass of WYD begins.
17:30 Meeting with World Youth Day volunteers at the IFEMA Fairgrounds.
18:30 Official Farewell Ceremony at Barajas Airport.