Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"May You Feel As If You're Home!": In Madrid, the "Day" Begins

For the 11th time since 1987, global Catholicism's "Olympic event" -- the world's largest gathering of young people -- is underway as the triennial celebration of World Youth Day opened earlier tonight in Madrid.

Including a record turnout of the Stateside church, while as many as 1.5 million people are expected for Saturday's Vigil and Sunday's climactic Papal Mass at an air-base outside the city, the crowd for tonight's kickoff liturgy in the city-center's Plaza de Cibeles still numbered in the hundreds of thousands.

The pilgrims having flooded into the Spanish capital from the weekend (with some still trickling in), the traditional catechesis sessions and informal meet-ups might be going into overdrive tomorrow, but the week-long "Popestock" won't reach its peak until B16 himself arrives on Thursday and delivers his first talk to the gathered that evening.

As ever, more to come straight through to Sunday's close. For now, though, here below is an official English translation of tonight's homily at the Opening Mass from Madrid's Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, the president of the Spanish bishops, and as the archbishop of Santiago de Compostela during the 1989 WYD there, the first prelate to have organized and opened two World Youth Days.
SVILUPPO: Albeit without commentary or translation, HD fullvid of the Opening Mass is posted at the Vatican's video player.