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Year of Youth 2018

Madrid: 7 Days

World Youth Day is a global event where young people from all over the world gather to celebrate and learn about their Catholic faith. It is one of the primary means by which the Church proclaims the message of Christ to and expresses its concern for young people. It is a time for young people to share their faith and be rejuvenated to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their homelands, showing the universality of, and diversity within, the Catholic Church. It is also a way to come to understand other cultures and spread peace and understanding throughout the world. During the week leading up to the final mass at World Youth Day, the youth gather in catechesis to learn the teachings of the faith and celebrate in other festivities.

World Youth Day was founded by Pope John Paul II in 1984. The Holy Father saw the event as a way to inspire the youth and encourage them in living the teachings of Christ. In 1984 and 1985 he invited the youth of the world to Rome for a Palm Sunday celebration in St. Peter's Square. In 1987, the first international WYD took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since this date, international World Youth Days have been held in: Santiago de Compostela, Spain (1989); Częstochowa, Poland (1991); Denver, United States (1993); Manila, Philippines (1995); Paris, France (1997); Rome, Vatican City (2000); Toronto, Canada (2002); Cologne, Germany (2005); and in Sydney, Australia (2008). At the closing Mass during WYD08 in Sydney, Pope Benedict XVI announced that the next World Youth Day will be held in Madrid, Spain. Thus began the journey from one side of the globe to the other, with pilgrims saying goodbye to Sydney, and starting on the road of preparation toward WYD 2011 in Madrid.

Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the Madrid metropolitan is over 6 million, and it is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin. Roman Catholicism is the largest denomination of Christianity present in Spain by far. According to a October 2010 study by the Spanish Center of Sociological Research about 73% of Spaniards self-identify as Catholics, 2.2% other faith, and about 22% identify with no religion. In keeping with its Catholic tradition, Madrid holds a number of historical Catholic Churches, including: San Nicolás de los Servitas, the oldest Church in Madrid with a Bell Tower that dates back to the 12th century; San Pedro el Real, the second oldest Church; Almudena Cathedral, dedicated to the Spanish Patron the Virgin of Almudena; St. Jerome Church, a gothic church next to El Prado Museum; and the St. Isidore Cathedral, named after the Patron of Madrid, St. Isidore the Worker.

You can find out more about World Youth Day and Madrid at the Official WYD 2011 website: http://madrid11.com/