The Vatican’s press office unveiled Pope Benedict XVI's official World Youth Day schedule on June 27. His itinerary for the trip to Madrid this August includes personal and public visits with young people from all walks of life.
During his four-day visit, the Pope will visit with young nuns, university professors, and seminarians, in addition to his encounters with the millions of youth expected to gather in Madrid from around the world.
The Pope's plans include a private lunch with a group of youth on August 19. He will also hear the confessions of some young people on August 20.
His other private engagements include speaking to a group of 2,000 young university professors on August 19. That same day he will meet privately with a group of young nuns. On August 20, the Pope will celebrate a private Mass with seminarians.
The crowds expected to gather by the millions will also see plenty of the Pope. On August 19, Pope Benedict will lead public stations of the cross, and on August 20 he will speak at a prayer vigil. He will also celebrate the closing Mass on August 21.
Other events on the Pope's schedule include a visit with Spain's king, queen and president on August 19, and lunches with the cardinals of Spain and the bishops of the Madrid province on August 20 and 21.
World Youth Day was first established in 1985 by Blessed Pope John Paul II in response to a U.N. declaration of the International Year of Youth. The celebration takes place on the international level every three years and has been held in many different countries. Pope Benedict celebrated his first World Youth Day as Pope in Cologne, Germany in 2005, followed by the 2008 gathering in Sydney, Australia.
Pope Benedict's official schedule for the 2011 gathering is available at: http://www.madrid11.com