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In Madrid to meet Christ ever young

· Benedict XVI to a delegation of World Youth Day 2011 promoters ·

“The World Youth Days are not merely mass meetings”, the Holy Father said at the Audience in the Vatican's Consistory Hall on Friday, 2 July, to Cardinal Antonio María Rouco Varela, Archbishop of Madrid, and to the members of the “Madrid Vivo” Foundation. The Foundation is promoting the next World Youth Day that will be held in the Spanish capital in August 2011.  The following is a translation of the Pope's Address, which was given in Spanish.

Your Eminence,

Dear Brother in the Episcopate,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am deeply grateful for the kind words the Cardinal Archbishop of Madrid has had the kindness to address to me on behalf of the Patrons of the “Madrid Vivo” Foundation and on behalf of you all. You are in the process of preparing for the World Youth Day that will be celebrated in the capital of Spain in August next year.

A great many young people have their eyes on this beautiful city with the joy of being able to meet there in a few months' time to listen together to the Word of Christ, ever young, to share the faith that unites them and the desire to build a better world inspired by the values of the Gospel.

I invite you all to continue to collaborate generously with this beautiful project. It is not merely a mass meeting but rather a privileged opportunity for the young people of your country and of the whole world to let themselves be won over by the love of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and of Mary, the faithful friend who triumphed over sin and death.

I fervently remember all of you and your families in my prayers, and I ask God to bless the efforts you are   making to ensure that the next World Youth Day produces abundant fruits. May Mary Most Holy always accompany you with her motherly love!

Many thanks.

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