Loading
Pope receives enthusiastic greeting in Spain
By David Kerr

.- Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Madrid for World Youth Day 2011, to the delight of a massive throng of young people. Over the next four days, he will meet and pray with over a million young pilgrims.

“I come as the Successor of Peter, to confirm them all in the faith, with days of intense pastoral activity, proclaiming that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life,” he said upon his midday arrival at Madrid’s Barajas Airport.

Pope Benedict was formally welcomed by a King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia of Spain along with Cardinal Rouco Varela of Madrid.

As military bands played the Spanish and Vatican national anthems, an honor guard composed of Spain’s military and, uniquely, a group of schoolboys dressed as mini-Swiss Guards met the Pope. Also there to welcome the pontiff were two thousand enthusiastic young pilgrims waving Spanish and papal flags.

King Juan Carlos thanked Pope Benedict for his third visit to Spain in his six years as pontiff, adding ,“we interpret this as a very special distinction for our country.” In return, the Pope described Spain as a country “rich in history and in culture through the vitality of its faith, which has borne fruit in so many saints over the centuries.”
 
Pope Benedict said that the hundreds of thousands of World Youth Day pilgrims were seeking an alternative to “the prevailing superficiality, consumerism and hedonism, the widespread banalization of sexuality, the lack of solidarity, the corruption,” and that “they know that, without God, it would be hard to confront these challenges and to be truly happy.”
 
“But, with God beside them, they will possess light to walk by and reasons to hope, unrestrained before their highest ideals, which will motivate their generous commitment to build a society where human dignity and true brotherhood are respected.”

During his four-day visit, Pope Benedict will attend a total of nine World Youth Day events. This will include leading young people in the Way of the Cross tomorrow, hearing their confessions on Saturday, and offering Mass for over a million pilgrims at Madrid’s Cuatro Vientos airport on Sunday.

Of the young pilgrims, the Pope said it gives him “great joy to listen to them, pray with them and celebrate the Eucharist with them,” because “they really have a future before them and are not afraid of the decisive.”

Hence, he said, “World Youth Day brings us a message of hope like a pure and youthful breeze, with rejuvenating scents which fill us with confidence before the future of the Church and the world.”
 
He then made his way to the papal nuncio’s residence in the popemobile. Pope Benedict was accompanied along the entire route by the cheers of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims who chanted “Benedicto! Benedicto!” while showering the popemobile with confetti and balloons. Home-made banners were also in great evidence, with one displaying the message “From Madrid to Heaven with the Pope.”


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
18

Liturgical Calendar

April 18, 2014

Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday)

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

Gospel
Date
04/18/14
04/17/14
04/16/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 52:13-53:12
Second Reading:: Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel:: Jn 18:1-19:42

Homily of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

Homily
Date
04/18/14
04/17/14
04/16/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: