By Patricia Maresch, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Pope Benedict XVI announced Sunday to thousands of young Roman Catholics at the close of this year’s event in Madrid, “I am pleased now to announce that the next World Youth Day will be held in 2013, in Rio de Janeiro.”
Mayor Eduardo Paes and Governor Sergio Cabral were in Madrid for the Pope’s announcement. Paes believes the event can gather even more participants to Rio than the World Cup in 2014.
“It’s a huge event and it excites me thinking of the proportion of faithful people who will be coming together in our city,” Paes said. “”From an economic standpoint, it’s amazing.”
Cabral added. “From youth hostels, churches and hotels to the streets, the museums and sights, it will all be full,” said the governor.
Brazil is a country with a Catholic majority. Expectations are that around four million pilgrims will attend World Youth Day. The event will probably take place on the Aterro do Flamengo.
World Youth Day (or in short ‘WYD’) was initiated by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1985. The first and only time it was held in South American was in Buenos Aires, Argentine in 1987, which was attended by an estimated one million people.
* The Rio Times Daily Update is a new feature we are offering to help keep you up-to-date with the major news as it happens.