We heard from our pilgrims that the WiFi is weak, so we haven’t received any photos yet. Fr. Eric celebrated Mass at the hotel last night with the pilgrims.
On the agenda for today, they are to have a walking tour of the city center.
For lunch, they are going to be trying out the pilgrim food for the first time! From past WYDs, this can be an adventure in itself!
In the afternoon, they will have a real treat, when they take a train through the Tijuaca Forest up Corcovado to the Statue of the Christ!
Some fun facts about Christ the Redeemer:
- It is considered to be the largest Art Deco statue in the world.
- It is the 5th largest statue of Jesus in the world.
- It is 98 feet tall, with a “wingspan” of 92 feet.
- It is made of reinforced concrete, with outer layers of soapstone, built between 1926 and 1931.
In the evening, they will gather with the other pilgrims for the official opening of World Youth Day 2013 with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Copacabana Beach. This will be celebrated by the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, Orani Joao Tempesta. The archbishop will welcome all young people who have come to attend World Youth Day. This is the only main event without the presence of our Holy Father.
Beginning at 4 pm, the event will begin with the praying of Vespers, the Missionary Rosary, and a musical performance. If you can, please join us in praying Vespers and the rosary alongside our pilgrims!
At 6:30 pm, there will be a presentation of the WYD Cross and Icon of Our Lady.
At 7 pm, Mass will by celebrated by Archbishop Tempesta, followed by a tribute to the papacy and a speech by the president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko. The event will conclude with a musical performance.