MADRID, Spain, AUG. 21, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The third day of World Youth Day began with a unique event. Benedict XVI heard the confession of four of the young people who had come to Madrid for the gathering.
After leaving the Apostolic Nunciature, where he was staying, the Pope traveled to Madrid’s “Jardines del Buen Retiro.” For almost a week the park had been the site of the Festival of Forgiveness: about 200 confessionals had been installed where priests from around the world heard confessions in various languages.
The young people who received the sacrament from the Pope, two young men and two young women, were World Youth Day volunteers. Two were from France, one from Switzerland, and one from Spain. The qualifications were that they had to speak one of three languages that the Holy Father knows best, German, Italian and French.
This event followed on the Pope’s invitation in a World Youth Day message in which he invited the young people to “see” and “meet” Jesus in the sacrament of penance, through which the Lord manifests his mercy through forgiveness.