Vatican Approves Youth Day Patrons

Group of Saints Includes Laity, Religious and Youth

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MADRID, Spain, MAY 4, 2010 ( The Vatican approved both the patrons and the venues for the August 2011 World Youth Day in Madrid. The nine patron saints range across the history of the Church in Spain.

The saints approved as patrons of the youth event are St. Isidore the Worker and his wife St. María de la Cabeza; St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross; St. Rose of Lima; St. Francis Xavier; and St. Rafael Arnáiz. This last saint was canonized just last October.
The patrons are all of Spanish origin, rooting World Youth Day in its host country. This is similar to the patrons selected for Cologne, who were all related to the history of the Church in Germany.

In addition to the patrons, the Holy See also approved the venues for the main Youth Day events.

Young people will welcome the Pope to Madrid on Aug. 18, 2011, in the Cibeles Plaza. The plaza is one of the most emblematic and recognizable spots of the city. The central fountain of the square is an 18th-century sculpture representing the goddess Cibeles in her carriage pulled by two lions.

The Way of the Cross the following day will be held on Recoletos street.

And the Pontiff’s meeting with youth on Aug. 20 will take place at Cuatro Vientos airfield, five miles (eight kilometers) from the city’s center. Its six-mile (10-kilometer) perimeter gives space for the crowds that will attend the vigil and the Mass the following day. In 2003, this same venue was used for youth when they met with Pope John Paul II.

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