WYD Rio 2013
Departure in 4 days
Friday, July 19, 2013
All are expecting to see the World Youth Day Cross and Icon of the Virgin Mary which arrived July 6 in Rio de Janeiro. The cross and icon will remain in Rio until the conclusion of the July 23-28 gathering of young people and Pope Francis.
The two symbols “have crossed the world, and since September of 2011, they have traveled throughout Brazil, visiting not only the dioceses but also schools, prisons, squares and indigenous communities,” Archbishop Tempesta said.
The 12-foot cross first entrusted to the youth by John Paul II in 1984 has been placed in the Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro.
The Icon of the Virgin Mary, a replica of the Byzantine image of Mary Salus Populi Romani (Protector of the Roman People), is also in the cathedral. It was donated to young people by John Paul II in 2003 to accompany the Cross.
“This is a sign that shows the beauty of the Christian faith, the certainty of Christ risen on the cross, giving his life for us all, and at the same time the joy of young people, who in all these years have seen a little bit of their own lives, their dreams, their searching, their joy, in these symbols,” Archbishop Tempesta said.
The Cross and the icon will be taken to various parts of Rio de Janeiro until the start of World Youth Day, when several million people are expected to gather in the Brazilian city.