Joy in Rio as Youth Gear Up for 2013

«We Are Going to Prepare Every Detail With Love»

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, AUG. 23, 2011 ( It was only 7 a.m. and a throng of Brazilian young people had been awake for hours. Smiles lit up their tired faces: The Pope is coming here.

The youth who gathered Saturday and early Sunday morning for the Madrid-Rio WYD vigil — an event enabling the Brazilians to follow the papal events live from Madrid — welcomed with elation Benedict XVI’s announcement of the next WYD host city.

«Rio’s youth will gain much from this event,» said Father Leandro Cury, director of Cathedral Radio. «I am very happy to know that the Pope is entrusting to us the mission of hosting the youth of the world to reflect on the faith, and on the living of it in today’s world.»

The episcopal vicar for social communication, Father Marcos William Bernardo, presided over a Holy Mass at the same time that Pope Benedict XVI was celebrating the WYD closing Mass in Madrid. The Pontiff’s homily was broadcast live for the Brazilians.

During several moments of the celebration, which began around 4:30 a.m. (local time in Brazil, 9:30 a.m. in Madrid), flashes of the WYD Mass were transmitted by Catholic networks and media.

At the end of the vigil in Rio, around 7 a.m., the joy that conquered exhaustion could still be perceived in the smiles of young people who immediately invaded the streets.

Fabiana Targino of the Youth Ministry office of the South Vicariate, observed that to experience a WYD is a unique emotion in the life of any person.

«We saw that, though belonging to different countries and cultures, what unites us is the same faith in Christ Jesus. To know that the next WYD will be in Rio is an indescribable emotion, a dream come true,» she said.

«It is a joy to receive the Pope in our city,» Targino added. «We are going to prepare every detail of the next Day with much affection and love. May we be able to show the world that we are bearers of peace.»

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