Pope Benedict XVI will get a bird’s eye view of the famous Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks Rio de Janeiro during his visit to the city for World Youth Day 2013.
Archbishop Orani Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro told reporters that while it has not yet been determined if the Pope will personally visit the monument, “(h)e will take a ride around it via helicopter.”
Standing nearly 100 feet tall, the well-known statue is located atop Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park, above the city where preparations for the 27th World Youth Day are being made.
Recently named one of the wonders of the modern world, the Christ the Redeemer Shrine will be open to visitors 24 hours a day during World Youth Day, which will be held in the city July 23-28.
Archbishop Tempesta said groups of 25 to 30 young people of various nationalities will be organized to visit the shrine and pray for the world and for peace.
Nearly two million young people are expected to attend World Youth Day in Rio this summer.
Started in 1985, the event is hosted in different cities around the world and includes periods of prayer, cultural activities and catechesis sessions, along with messages from the Pope and an overnight vigil.
The theme for this World Youth Day is “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19). Its symbols are the cross and icon of Our Lady.
In his message for the 27th World Youth Day, Pope Benedict emphasized that the human heart is made for joy, which is found in God and “intimately linked to love.”
Pointing to the witness of the saints, he explained that “Christian joy is not a flight from reality, but a supernatural power that helps us to deal with the challenges of daily life.”
When we follow the commandments, the Holy Father said, we are adhering to “essential and valuable rules leading to a happy life in accordance with God’s plan.”