WYD preparations enter home stretch
Plans are well underway for Pope Benedict XVI's World Youth Day trip to Cologne, which will be his first visit to a country outside Italy since the beginning of his pontificate in April.
Zenit reports that the event begins four weeks from yesterday - on 16 August - and the Holy Father will first greet the young pilgrims on 18 August.
"According to the Vatican, on the evening of 19 August, he will participate in the Way of the Cross; on 20 August he will join the participants in a prayer vigil, and on 21 August he will celebrate the event's closing Mass.
"The altar at which he will celebrate the Mass sits on a hill overlooking a large field where the pilgrims will gather. It is manmade and composed of earth from all the countries of the world brought by young people who have participated in the preparatory WYD meetings."
This year's theme will be: "We have come to worship Him," the words with which the Wise Men of the Gospel of St. Matthew reveal the reason for their own pilgrimage. Pope John Paul noted in 2002 that, "In the great cathedral of Cologne the relics of the Magi, the Wise Men from the East who followed the star which led them to Christ, are honored."
Organisers have also noted that during the week, the famous reliquary of the Wise Men will be placed behind the altar in the cathedral, as it was in the Middle Ages, so the pilgrims can see it as they pass and so, in some way, take away with them the blessing of the Three Kings of the East.
Cologne to 'witness a great sign of hope' as WYD preparations enter home stretch (Catholic News Agency 19/7/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
World Youth Day - Australia
World Youth Day - International
World Youth Day cross begins final push for Cologne (CathNews 7/7/05)
Pell leads bid for Sydney World Youth Day (CathNews 5/7/05)
Pope's trip to World Youth Day officially announced (CathNews 22/6/05)
Cardinal urges pope to keep World Youth Day commitment (CathNews 3/3/05)
German organizers further plans for World Youth Day (CathNews 7/1/05)
Young people from all over the world to meet in Cologne (Vatican Information Service 19/7/05)
1 million expected for World Youth Day (Catholic World News 19/7/05)
Seminarians to Meet With Pope in Cologne (Zenit 18/7/05)
Aspects of Christ: representations of Christ from late Middle Ages to the 20th century art exhibition on the occasion of 20th World Youth Day in Cologne (Fides 17/7/05)
100,000 Italians Expected at World Youth Day (Zenit 17/7/05)
16,000 handicapped to attend WYD 2005 (Catholic News Agency 15/7/05)
Online registration needed for Seminarians who want to meet the Pope (Catholic News Agency 15/7/05)
Aspects of Christ: representations of Christ from late Middle Ages to the 20th century art exhibition on the occasion of 20th World Youth Day in Cologne (Fides 15/7/05)
Vatican and Germany Plan Stamps for Youth Day (Zenit 14/7/05)
World Youth Day Handbook Available Online (Zenit 14/7/05)
20 Jul 2005