While Pope Francis was crossing the Atlantic on Monday, in Rio de Janeiro the city’s Archbishop Orani João Tempesta and its mayor Eduardo Paes were giving a press conference. Archbishop Tempesta began by saying that “during these days all roads lead to Rio de Janeiro,” and he described all that was happening in the city. He noted that the WYD Cross and the Icon of the Virgin will be given to the country that will host the next WYD on Sunday, July 28.
Youths representing each continent also participated in the event, offering their greetings in different languages.
Alberto Perez said he came from Argentina on foot, walking 2,174 kilometers (1,350 miles) to arrive at the WYD and he hopes to return with a “new heart.”
Crespim from Mozambique studies during the day and works at night. To come to the WYD he asked permission from his boss in advance; he will pay for his trip by working for a year for free when he returns to Mozambique. “It’s worthwhile,” he said to journalists.
Elsa Vasquez from Mexico said she met a youth at a WYD who is now her husband. They are both working in this WYD as volunteers.
Eduardo Paes, mayor of Rio de Janeiro, said that it is an honor for his city to receive the Pope. “The objective is to have the best WYD of all time,” he added.