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A world day to the step of samba

· WYD Cross and Icon starts its pilgrimage from São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro this 18 September ·

If the one just ended is a WYD to the rhythm of chotis, a typical dance in Madrid, the next will be to the step of samba. We already had a taste of it during the closing celebration of the 26th installment, when the Pope announced that the next venue is Rio de Janeiro and Spanish boys and girls handed over the great cross of wood to their peers from Rio: On maxi screens from the esplanade of Cuatro Vientos, we saw an explosion of joy from 10,000 young people gathered in Maracanãzinho, the Brazilian metropolis’ arena, who had participated in the mass live – though, due to time changes and reserved seasons – it was night during the school year.

And the same party was going on in Madrid, where 16 million Brazilians had come – despite the costs of such a long journey - along with 60 bishops, among them Cardinals Odilo Pedro Sherer, Archbishop of São Paulo, and Raymundo Damasceno Assis, Archbishop of Aparecida and President of the Bishops’ Conference. The celebration at Cuatro Vientos continued on into the evening in the general area for Brazilian youth in the Spanish capital, an area by the name of coincidentally “Madrid Rio”. With authorities like the State Governor of Rio de Janeiro, Sérgio Cabral, and the city’s mayor, Euardo Paes, and a delegation formed of 2 adolescents from each of the Brazil’s 274 dioceses, who now have the duty of bringing home this experience, the teachings and the passion in view of the coming meeting.

It was up to Eric Jacquinet, at his first WYD as the head of the youth section for the Pontifical Council for Laity, to highlight this aspect: “In Sydney in 2008 there was no organizing committee from Madrid, this time we wanted to have the Brazilians present, so that they could realize the field of work that needs to be done. Moreover – he added – it being only 2 years away ensures that the youth present here today will be promoters of the WYD in their country, as in such a short period most won’t have changed from their status”.

Yago de la Cierva, Executive Director and spokesman of WYD Madrid, also spoke on Sunday, during a meeting with journalists at the Centro internacional de prensa , about collaboration between the 26th WYD and the Brazilian Archdiocese. “We will continue to give a hand as far as practical matters are concerned,” he said underlining the fact that WYD of 2013 will be in a country hosting “training for the World Cup and the Olympics”.




St. Peter’s Square

Jan. 22, 2020