With World Youth Day underway, the massive gathering is bound to break some records. The official registration number exceeds 350,000 youths, but that number could easily be multiplied during the closing ceremony, since on that day, theres no need to register to attend. Some estimate that up to 2 million youths could show up to celebrate with the Pope.
According to Brazil's Civil Aviation Department, about 70,000 pilgrims are arriving on a daily basis to Rio's airports. Young Catholics from 190 countries are making their way to Brazil, but the top 10 countries are of course Brazil, followed by Argentina, the U.S, Chile, Italy, Venezuela, France, Paraguay, Peru and Mexico.
There are over 200,000 registered Brazilians. From Argentina, the Pope's native country, there are about 20,000 pilgrims. From the United States, more than 11,000. From Chile, the number stands at 9,100, which is actually the highest number since the year 2000. From Italy, about 7,000 youths are expected in Rio.
A total of 28 cardinals and 600 bishops will accompany Pope Francis during his first World Youth Day celebration. Parishes, gyms and auditoriums will turn into key points of catechesis for the more than 250 bishops who will be in Rio. The catechesis will be offered in 26 languages in more than 270 locations.
For now, the number of journalists has also exceeded expectations. More than 5,500 journalists are accredited, which is a higher number than World Youth Day in Madrid.