405,000 Registered So Far

COLOGNE, Germany, AUG. 16, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Some 405,000 young pilgrims have registered for the activities of World Youth Day being held this week in Cologne and neighboring cities.

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As of today, the German organizers of the event said there are 105,000 German participants, followed by 101,174 Italians, 38,549 French, 31,908 Spanish and 24,237 Americans. In total, 191 countries and territories are represented.

In previous World Youth Days, the number of participants increases with each day, reaching the highest figure for the closing Mass. Benedict XVI will preside over the closing Mass on Sunday.

Some 27,000 volunteers from 120 countries are helping with the organization of activities.

Schools, gymnasiums and private homes are being used to accommodate young pilgrims. Participants are also being accommodated in public offices, supermarkets, stores, Muslim cultural associations’ premises, greenhouses, farms, beer factories and sports clubs.

In total, 750 bishops and 54 cardinals are attending the event. From Wednesday to Friday, 248 catecheses will be held, led by bishops.

One culinary note: Youth Day participants can choose between normal or vegetarian menus.

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