Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi revealed the date and location of the next youth day last week, but said that Benedict XVI will make the official announcement Sunday, at the close of this year's youth gathering in Madrid.
The International World Youth Days have been spaced three years apart since 2002, but the Rio de Janeiro youth day will take place in two years. Father Lombardi said the change was made to avoid the youth event coinciding with the Soccer World Cup, which will be held in Brazil in 2014.
Rio de Janeiro, emblematic city of the country with the greatest number of Catholics in the world, was chosen over Seoul, capital of South Korea, a country with a large Catholic community, indicated sources of the press.
For Brazil, this is the third international event it will host in the coming years, including the Soccer World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016.
After Buenos Aires in 1987, the Brazilian city will be the second of Latin America to host the international event.
Ten International World Youth Days have taken place outside Rome: Buenos Aires, Argentina (1987); Santiago de Compostela, Spain (1989); Czestochowa, Poland (1991); Denver, Colorado (1993); Manila, Philippines (1995); Paris, France (1997); Rome, Italy (2000); Toronto, Canada (2002); Cologne, Germany (2005); Sydney, Australia (2008); and Madrid, Spain (2011).
Three International World Youth Days have taken place in Rome (1984, 1985, and 2000), and 15 Diocesan World Youth Days have been celebrated in those years when an international celebration is not planned. Diocesan youth days take place on Palm Sunday.
The first World Youth Day World took place on Palm Sunday in 1984.
Close to 20 million young people have attended these international meetings, which were initiated by Pope John Paul II.