Two year 13 students from Auckland have just received the exciting news that they will be meeting Pope Benedict XVI at the World Youth Day Papal Welcome Ceremony in Madrid early tomorrow morning. The Ceremony will take place on 19 August at 5.30am New Zealand time (18 August at 7.30pm Madrid time).
Dominic Light and Vincent Phua, both 18, have been chosen to join 48 other young people from around the world to meet with Pope Benedict XVI at Plaza de la Independencia before accompanying the Pope through Madrid’s Puerta de Alcalá where the Holy Father will be officially received and welcomed to the city. After this, he will ride in the Popemobile to Plaza de Cibeles.
Dominic and Vincent are both members of St Francis and All Souls Catholic Parish in Devonport and are travelling with the Glenrowan World Youth Day Pilgrimage Group. The group left Auckland on Friday 5 August and spent four days in Rome before heading to Barcelona, Lourdes and Avila on the way to Madrid.
Around 200 young New Zealand Catholics have travelled to Madrid for the 26th World Youth Day, which is taking place from 16-21 August. It is the world’s largest youth event is this year expected to attract two million pilgrims from around the world.
Six Christchurch pilgrims have been allocated front row seats for the vigil with Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday 20 August.
Key World Youth Day events include the Papal Welcome Ceremony (Thursday 18 August); the Stations of the Cross (Friday 19 August); outdoor Vigil with the Pope (Saturday 20 August) and the Final Mass (Sunday 21 August).