By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Father Fábio de Melo presided over a special morning Mass on Saturday, July 20th to inaugurate the Cidade da Fé (City of Faith), one of the main locations that will host World Youth Day (WYD) activities.

WYD's Cidade da Fé Inaugurated, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Priest Fábio de Melo celebrated a special mass to inaugurate the Cidade da Fé, photo by Juliane D. Albuquerque.

Located in Rio Centro in the Zona Oeste (West Zone) neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca, the Cidade da Fé occupies an approximately 70,000 square meter area and an estimated 60,000 people were expected to pass through the area on Saturday.

Activities held at the Cidade da Fé will include: the ExpoCatólica, a book fair and religious articles exposition; the International Religious Tourism Festival; Bote Fé Brazil, a fair with concerts and cultural events, and the Vocational Expo, meant to expose young Catholics to faith-based careers.

The Cidade da Fé will also be the largest location for the Catecheses sessions , which will be held in various locations in the city in numerous languages.

During the Mass on Saturday morning, Father Fábio de Melo welcomed both national and international pilgrims by saying that they should “pay attention to the simple things of your days. The grandiose moments, like this, will be marked and perhaps even make a big change in your life.”

World Youth Day, known in Portuguese as Jornada Mundial da Juventude (JMJ), will officially kick off on July 23rd and will run through July 28th. Organizers expect as many as 2.5 million national and international visitors.

World Youth Day will also mark Pope Francis’ first international trip since becoming pontiff. In addition to numerous other scheduled events, Pope Francis will meet with the event’s volunteers following Sunday’s Mass at Campus Fidei (Field of Faith), in the western area of Guaratiba.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.

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