VATICAN CITY, JUNE 18, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II´s key meetings with young people at World Youth Day will take place on the night of July 27 and the morning of July 28, the Vatican confirmed.
The Pope´s 97th international trip, which will take him to Canada, Guatemala and Mexico between July 23 and Aug. 2, will begin when he lands in Toronto´s Lester B. Pearson international airport. He will travel to Strawberry Island, located on Lake Simcoe, for three days of rest.
On Thursday afternoon, July 25, John Paul II will travel to Toronto, where he will be welcomed by the youth in the city´s Palace of Exhibitions. During his stay in Toronto, the Holy Father will reside at Morrow Park, the motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Joseph.
This religious congregation, founded in France, has just celebrated the 150th anniversary of its arrival in Toronto. Its sisters have been involved in education, health, and charitable works in Canada. The site of the motherhouse has room for helicopters to land.
Toronto expects some 500,000 young people to attend the World Youth Day celebrations.
One of the most anticipated moments of the Pope´s third trip to Canada will be the vigil with youth in Downsview Park on Saturday night, July 27. This event will follow earlier meetings of the Holy Father with the country´s civil authorities and bishops.
John Paul II will preside over the Mass on Sunday morning, July 28, in Downsview Park, where the young people will have spent the night.
The Pontiff will leave from Toronto´s international airport on Monday morning, July 29, and fly to Guatemala, where he will stay for 26 hours. The highlight of this visit will be the canonization of Blessed Brother Pedro de San José de Betancurt, apostle of the poor and needy in Guatemala.
The Pope will then fly to Mexico where he will stay until the morning of Aug. 2. While in Mexico, on July 31 he will canonize Juan Diego, the Indian who witnessed the apparitions of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
The next day, the Holy Father will beatify two Indian lay martyrs: Juan Bautista and Jacinto de los Angeles. Both ceremonies will be held in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.