Pope to Hear Confessions at World Youth Day

Vatican Announces Official Schedule for Madrid Activities

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 27, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI will hear the confessions of several young people when he is in Madrid this August for World Youth Day.

The Vatican announced Saturday the official program for the Pope's activities during the Aug. 19-21 trip, including his plan to hear confessions the Saturday morning of Youth Day.

The Holy Father will arrive in Madrid at midday on Thursday, Aug. 19. 

At 7:15 p.m., he will join a group of young people to go to Plaza de Cibeles where youth from all over the world will be gathered to greet him.

The next day, the Holy Father will celebrate Mass privately in the chapel of the apostolic nunciature. At 10 a.m., he will pay a courtesy visit to the Spanish king and queen. At 11:30 that morning, he will gather with young religious and later with university professors at the Basilica of San Lorenzo de El Escorial.

The Pontiff will lunch with youth at the apostolic nunciature. That afternoon, he will have an official meeting with Spain's prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. At 7:30 p.m., the Pope will return to Plaza de Cibeles where he will preside over the Way of the Cross.

The next morning, the Holy Father will hear confessions in the Jardines del Buen Retiro and then celebrate a 10 a.m. Mass for seminarians in the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Real de la Almudena. At 5 p.m. he will meet with the WYD organizing committees and then visit the Fundación Instituto San José. 

At 8:30 p.m. he will preside over a prayer vigil with young people at the airport of Cuatro Vientos.

The World Youth Day Mass will be at 9:30 on Sunday morning. After Mass, the Pope will pray the Angelus.

He will lunch with Spanish cardinals and the papal entourage back at the apostolic nunciature.

Before leaving Spain, the Pope will meet with WYD volunteers. There will be a departure ceremony at the Barajas airport before the papal plane takes off at 7 p.m..