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Rome Reports

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WYD Madrid 2011: A cross and an icon for young people

John Paul II Rome, April 22, 1984“My dear young people, at the conclusion of the Holy Year, I entrust to you the sign of this Jubilee Year: the Cross of Christ! Carry it throughout the world as a symbol of Christ’s love for humanity, and announce to everyone that only in the death and resurrection of Christ we can find salvation and redemption.”Since then, the cross has been kept in the Centro San Lorenzo here in Rome. It is the World Youth Day cross, which during the year prior to the international meeting tours the country in which the celebrations will be held. Now it can be found in Spain. As a travelling cross, it has also been in places with young people in need.Fabio DonegaWYD Volunteer Chief (Italy)"This cross had been at Ground Zero in 2001, after (the attacks of) September 11th. ; The cross was in the U.S. because it was on its way to Toronto for the 2002 World Youth Day. The Pontifical Council for the Laity in 2009 also had young people take it to the areas affected by the earthquake in L?Aquila.”From east to west and north to south, this cross has travelled all over the world. Those bearing the cross can receive a special plenary indulgence granted by Pope. But the cross does not travel alone. Next to it is the icon of the Virgin Mary, the ‘Salus Populi Romani’, also a gift of John Paul II. It is a copy of one of the oldest icons in the West. Fabio DonegaWYD Volunteer Chief (Italy)"The icon of WYD, Maria Salus Populi Romani is always on pilgrimage together with the cross to show young people the support of Mary who is the Mother of young people. The Cross and Icon both are symbols of hope and a great help for their future.” A cross and an icon. Two gifts that John Paul II gave to young people and which are now travelling to Spain in anticipation of the great gathering of Madrid 2011.BR/TJFF/AMGDP