Montevideo, Uruguay, Dec 7, 2012 / 12:02 pm
The two symbols of World Youth Day, the pilgrim cross and the icon of the Virgin Mary, will tour the country of Uruguay Dec. 8-13 as part of preparations for the event in Rio de Janeiro next summer.
The tour with the two symbols will begin in the capital city of Montevideo and continue in the city of Minas, and then Mercedes, San Jose and finally in Salto, where the cross and the icon will be handed over to Argentina's young people.
Expected to draw hundreds of thousands, the global youth event scheduled for July 23-28, 2013 in which Pope Benedict XVI is slated to attend.
The 12-foot cross was built in 1984, the Year of Redemption, and placed near the main altar of St. Peter's Basilica. At the end of the year, Blessed John Paul II gave the cross to young people as a symbol of Christ's love for humanity.
"My dear young people, at the conclusion of this Holy Year, I entrust to you the sign of this Jubilee Year: the Cross of Christ!" the late Pope said.
"Carry it throughout the world as a sign, as a symbol of the love of Christ for humanity, and announce to all that only in the death and resurrection of Christ can we find salvation and redemption."