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Inside look at the main places for WYD 2011 in Madrid

Card. Antonio Maria Rouco VarelaArchbishop of Madrid (Spain)“Right now we have registered more than 300,000 young people who are not Spanish and from this we can assume that in Madrid the number of non-Spanish young people will be over half a million.”Yago de la CiervaExecutive Director, WYD Madrid 2011“To the pilgrims from around the world coming to Madrid I would advise two things: bring sunscreen and sun gear, and we?ll give you fluids to drink. And also to bring something to exchange with people from other countries.”Javier CremadesOrganizer of Main Events, WYD Madrid 2011“We have a particular interest, a particular emphasis on implementing the motto that the Holy Father has proposed for everyone for World Youth Day. That?s to say, the main events converge with this beautiful motto of Saint Paul to the Colossians: ?Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith.?” The pope will arrive on Thursday August 18 in the afternoon at Puerta de Alcalá in Madrid, where he?ll be welcomed by 50 young people. He?ll then pass under the arc of this symbolic gate accompanied by 10 young people. There they will plant an olive tree as a reminder of the visit.They will also be greeted with local flavors from the Spanish region of Andalusia. Reyes DomecqGanaderías Domecq“We?ll be coming with our horses to welcome the Holy Father in the Puerta de Alcalá. I?ll be going with my three brothers, mounted on Spanish horses and following will be three youngsters from our family, they?ll be accompanied by three girls dressed in flamenco from the same group of young people in our family.” The pope will travel in the popemobile for the short ride between the Puerta de Alcalá and the Plaza de Cibeles. This will kick off his official events for World Youth Day.But the place where the pilgrims will spend the most time will be the Cuatro Vientos aerodrome, with 270 acres of land, equivalent to 48 soccer fields. The Saturday night vigil will be held there. Thousands of young people will sleep there to attend the closing Mass on Sunday.Around the clock preparations are already underway here. What is now only a mass of metal will soon be a stage 600 feet in length and 65 in height. There will be 20,000 fences, 20 giant screens and 63 spotlights. Javier CremadesOrganizer of Main Events, WYD Madrid 2011“The final Mass on Sunday will be a celebration with 15,000 people, 14,000 priests and more than 1,000 bishops celebrating with the Holy Father. There will be 5,000 priests, 5,000 ministers distributing communion all over Cuatro Vientos.”Benedict XVI will also have two special meetings in the famous monastery of El Escorial where the pope made two visits as a cardinal. One will be with young religious, because Spain is the country with the most nuns in the world, and the other will be with academics from around the world.BR/AEFFJMPN