Papal Hopes for Youth Pilgrimage

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 25, 2004 ( John Paul II hopes that the forthcoming European Youth Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, will be an opportunity to renew "the Christian proposal."

In a letter to Cardinal Antonio Rouco, archbishop of Madrid and "papal envoy" to the closing celebrations, John Paul II said he hoped that the Aug. 5-8 meeting would also serve as preparation for the World Youth Day 2005 in Germany.

Thousands of young people will retrace the steps of past pilgrims to the city of the Apostle James, in the region of Galicia. Some 50,000 are expected to attend the closing celebrations.

There will be a Vigil of Prayer in Monte do Gozo on the night of Aug. 7, the place where Christian youths will publish a document on their commitment to the construction of a "Europe of Hope."