Young People Encouraged to Pray Through Art

100,000 Following Youth Day Preparations

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MADRID, JUNE 15, 2010 ( Several sculptures will be incorporated in a procession during next year’s World Youth Day, to help young people explore the beauty and spiritual usefulness of art.

Auxiliary Bishop César Franco of the Madrid Archdiocese announced today that sculptures will be brought from all parts of Spain for a procession during World Youth Day.

The procession will take place during the Way of the Cross that Benedict XVI will preside over on August 19, 2011, in Madrid’s Paseo de Recoletos.

The sculptures, which were each chosen to represent the various scenes of Christ’s Passion, are usually carried in procession during Holy Week through the streets of different cities, according to the Spanish tradition.

Rafael Cebrian of the Brotherhood of Our Father Jesus of Nazareth of Murcia, which organizes these Holy Week processions, noted that this initiative aims to «bring young people closer to the faith through beauty.»

He continued: «All the sculptures were made for a catechetical purpose, showing different scenes of the Passion; we will continue with the mission for which they were made — teaching the Passion to young people of the whole world.»

The pieces, such as Francisco Salzillo’s «La Cena» (the Last Supper), will be brought from Madrid, Cuenca, Malaga, Leon, Valladolid, Murcia, Granada, Zamora, Jerez (Cadiz) and Orihuela (Alicante)

Javier Cremades, a youth day organizer, explained that these sculptures will represent the thousands of processions that take place throughout Spain.

This event, he said, is «not about a collection of works of art exhibited to the public, but about being able to pray before treasures of popular Spanish religiosity.»


Meanwhile, as the preparations for the youth day progress, over 100,000 young people are following the organization details from afar.

Thousands of youth are watching the latest news in 16 languages on the 2011 World Youth Day page in Facebook, and are participating in the preparation process by giving feedback and opinions.

Hadz Tok is following World Youth Day information from Surabaya City in Indonesia and is expressing enthusiasm about the Madrid meeting. «A friend recommended the page to me,» he stated. «I hope the page will give me information about the preparations and activities of this World Youth Day.»
Ihab Kamal Jabbouri signed in from Baghdad, Iraq, where he is known in the small Christian community for his skill on the organ. He wants to «go to Madrid’s [World Youth Day] to get to know other young Christians from all over the world.»
The event organizers surveyed the Web site followers to find out: What would you like to find in the pilgrim’s backpack?
<br>The answers were not long in coming: candles for the vigil, guides to Madrid, the Gospel, or sunblock. And, despite the fact that the event is in August, there have been requests for ornamental scarves. Participating youth have also given their opinions on the choice of objects as mementos of the event, and even the name of a television program.
All this is possible due to the inestimable help of 70 administrators of different countries who volunteer their time to answer questions, resolve doubts, and encourage young people to go to Madrid. At every hour, there is always an administrator who is on the job.
More than 46,000 people are following the information in Spanish, 16,000 each in both English and Italian, and 6,600 in French.

With another 14 months before the youth day begins on August 16, 2011, the young people from around the world are already engaged.

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