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Rome Reports

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More than 50,000 altar servers get ready to meet Pope Francis

Tens of thousands of young people are in Rome to meet with Pope Francis. They all have two things in common: They are altar servers and they're from Germany, Austria or Switzerland.   BENEDIKT HOHL  Archdiocese of Munich and Freising  "I think that from Munich there's about 4.000 and from whole Germany around 50.000 people here.  It's a very special moment in my life because I have never been close to the Pope, or someone like that, that near.â?  It will take place Tuesday evening in St. Peter's Square, which will include a prayer session with Pope Francis. The theme of the pilgrimage is based on being free enough to do the right thing.  MSGR. KARL-HEINZ WIESEMANN  German Episcopal Conference  "We want to say to young people: 'You are free in Christ and Christ is giving you the power to do good things with your freedom.â?  The four day pilgrimage will include group meetings in Rome's major squares and Masses in Papal Basilicas. But without a doubt, the main event will be the meeting with Pope Francis.  ALEXANDER BOTHE  Pilgrimage Organizer "We expect that he will open his heart, in a way. We are really happy to pray with him the vespers, tomorrow in the evening, because we think that the special vesper of Santa Maria Maggiore is really in his heart.â?  Besides praying together,  several altar servers will also speak with Pope Francis, sharing information about their dioceses.  PM/KLH  AA  FA -PR  up: KLH  # World