World Youth Day 2011

Last updated
XXVI World Youth Day
World Youth Days 2011 Madrid Logo.png
DateAugust 16, 2011 (2011-08-16)-
August 21, 2011 (2011-08-21)
Location Madrid, Spain
TypeYouth festival
ThemeRooted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the Faith" (cf. Colossians 2:7)
Organised by Catholic Church
Participants Pope Benedict XVI
Previous 2008 Sydney
Next 2013 Rio de Janeiro

World Youth Day 2011 was the 2011 occurrence of World Youth Day, a Catholic event held from August 16–21, 2011 in Madrid, Spain focused on youth. [1] Media estimated the event's attendance as over a million [2] or 1.5 million. [3]

World Youth Day event for young people organized by the Catholic Church

World Youth Day (WYD) is an event for young people organized by the Catholic Church. The next, World Youth Day 2022, will be held in Portugal.

Madrid Capital of Spain

Madrid is the capital and most populous city of Spain. The city has almost 3.3 million inhabitants and a metropolitan area population of approximately 6.5 million. It is the third-largest city in the European Union (EU), surpassed only by London and Berlin, and its monocentric metropolitan area is the third-largest in the EU, smaller only than those of London and Paris. The municipality covers 604.3 km2 (233.3 sq mi).

Spain Kingdom in Southwest Europe

Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a European country located in Southwestern Europe with some pockets of Spanish territory across the Strait of Gibraltar and the Atlantic Ocean. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.


Pope Benedict XVI revealed the location of the event at the final Mass in Australia at Sydney's Royal Randwick Racecourse during World Youth Day 2008. [4]

Pope Benedict XVI 265th pope of the Catholic Church

Pope Benedict XVI is a retired prelate of the Catholic Church who served as head of the Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 2005 until his resignation in 2013. Benedict's election as pope occurred in the 2005 papal conclave that followed the death of Pope John Paul II. Benedict chose to be known by the title "pope emeritus" upon his resignation.

Mass (liturgy) type of worship service within many Christian denomination

Mass is the main eucharistic liturgical service in many forms of Western Christianity. The term Mass is commonly used in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, as well as in some Lutheran, Methodist, Western Rite Orthodox, and Old Catholic churches.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 26 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.

It was the second time that Spain hosted the event. World Youth Day 1989 was held from August 1520 1989 at Santiago de Compostela.

World Youth Day 1989 was an event organized by the Catholic Church and took place on August 15-20, 1989 in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. It was the first European edition of this bi-tri-ennal event, excluding the two "zero editions" held in Rome in 1984 and 1985, and the first time the meeting did not take place on Palm Sunday, but in the middle of summer.

Santiago de Compostela City and Municipality in Galicia, Spain

Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia, in northwestern Spain.

Spanish bishops, including Madrid's Metropolitan Archbishop, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, and the coordinator of the World Youth Day 2011, Madrid Auxiliary Bishop César Franco Martínez, urged Pope Benedict XVI to name patrons for the event. Saint Rafael Arnáiz Barón, Saint Francis Xavier, Saint Isidore the Laborer, Saint Maria Torribia, Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Saint John of Avila, Saint Rose of Lima, Saint John of the Cross, and Pope John Paul II were all designated as co-patrons of World Youth Day 2011. [5] [6]

Rafael Arnáiz Barón Spanish saint of the Roman Catholic Church

Saint Rafael Arnáiz Barón, also named María Rafael in religion, was a Spanish Trappist conventual oblate. He studied architecture in Madrid, but decided to cease his studies in favor of the religious life. This was often interrupted due to his struggle with diabetes and his being called for active service. But these never hindered his religious call and he did as best as he could to deal with his diabetes through his constant life of reflection and writing on spiritual subjects in his letters.

Francis Xavier Roman Catholic saint and missionary

Francis Xavier, S.J., was a Navarrese Catholic missionary who was a co-founder of the Society of Jesus.

Isidore the Laborer 11th and 12th-century Spanish farmer and saint

Isidore the Farm Labourer, also known as Isidore the Farmer, was a Spanish farmworker known for his piety toward the poor and animals. He is the Catholic patron saint of farmers and of Madrid, and of La Ceiba, Honduras. His feast day is celebrated on May 15.

This was Pope Benedict XVI's last World Youth day.


Mass in front of Madrid's townshall during the World Youth Day Madrid - 20110816 - mass - 2.jpg
Mass in front of Madrid's townshall during the World Youth Day

The event is self-financed by contributions from pilgrims (70%) along with companies and individuals (30%). [7] The state's estimated cost for security and infrastructure is €50 million, [8] while officials estimated that the event would generate as much as €150 million in tourist revenue. [9] Three months after the World Youth Day, the accountancy firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers released a report estimating that the economic impact of this event was about 354 million Euros in Spain. [10]

PricewaterhouseCoopers professional services networks

PricewaterhouseCoopers is a multinational professional services network with headquarters in London, United Kingdom. PwC ranks as the second largest professional services firm in the world and is one of the Big Four auditors, along with Deloitte, EY and KPMG.


The theme for 2011′s World Youth Day is "Rooted and Built Up in Jesus Christ, Firm in the Faith" (cf Col 2:7).

Official song

The official song for World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid was "Firmes en la fe" ("Firm in the faith"). The song, was composed by Father Enrique Castro, with lyrics by Auxiliary Bishop Cesar Franco of Madrid. The seven verses of the hymn refer to Christ's closeness to young people through his humanity. It was composed based on the WYD 2011 theme, "Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith," taken from St. Paul's letter to the Colossians.


The Cuatro Vientos Airport provided the location for vigil and final mass.

Schedule of events [11]

Days in the Dioceses in more than 40 Spanish diocesis
8.00am: Arrival at Madrid: From the early morning, the pilgrims and groups registered in WYD were able to collect their accreditation and backpacks in the places indicated by the organization.
8.00pm: Opening Mass: World Youth Day began with a Mass in Madrid´s Cibeles Square, presided over by the archbishop of Madrid and concelebrated by the bishops and priests participating
9.30pm onwards: Cultural programme
10.00am: Catechesis sessions
9.00pm onwards: Cultural programme (among other events, the Emmanuel Community organised the Noche de Alegría in the Madrid Arena sports place)
10.00am: Catechesis sessions
12.00pm: The Pope arrived at the Barajas Airport
2.40pm: The Pope drove through the streets of the city in the Popemobile to reach the Nunciature.
7.30pm: Papal Welcome Ceremony with youth at Plaza de Cibeles
9.00pm onwards: Cultural programme
10.00am: Catechesis sessions
11.30am: Papal Meeting at El Escorial young religious sisters and university professors
7.30pm: Via crucis along the Paseo de Recoletos
9.00pm onwards: Cultural programme
10.00am: Mass for seminarians in the Almudena Cathedral
4.00pm: Preparatory ceremony in Cuatro Vientos: Young people arrived at the Cuatro Vientos Airport and took their places. Meanwhile, different activities took place on the stage (testimonies of young people, musical interpretations, prayers to the Virgin, etc.), to prepare for the Vigil.
7.40pm: Pope visited the "Fundación Instituto San José", a center for the sick run by the es:Orden Hospitalaria de San Juan de Dios
8.30pm: Vigil with the Pope: The Pope arrived at Cuatro Vientos to celebrate an Eucharistic adoration.
11.00pm: Night in Cuatro Vientos: From early in the morning, pilgrims arrived at Cuatro Vientos, but were not able to adore the eucharist as planned because of the storm that damaged the chapels. The stage was designed by Ignacio Vicens, an architect who had assisted with World Youth Day celebrations during the time of John Paul II.

The number of people attending exceeded expectations, which means more land had to be found round the edges to accommodate the people. An estimated 1,000,000 were in the aerodrome at seven o'clock in the evening, which made this the largest Catholic event ever staged in Spain. Many pilgrims walked from the centre of Madrid (12.6 km), although extra public transport was put on.

The Pope arrived and a cross was carried in procession to the altar. Several young people were picked to ask questions to the Pope, but a sudden thunderstorm and high winds, meant that the Pope's address had to be communicated to the crowd in written form.

The Pope resumed the adoration of the Eucharist, after the rain, although with a shortened programme. A mass with distribution of the Eucharist to many in the crowd had to be reduced in dimension.

Many stayed during the night, and the Sunday morning mass took on a larger dimension to make up for the day before.

9.30am: Final Mass: The Pope concelebrated Mass with thousands of bishops and priests. At the end of the concluding Mass, the Pope announced the place where the next edition of World Youth Day would be held.
5.30pm: Encounter with Volunteers: Pope Benedict XVI had a brief meeting with the WYD volunteers at the es:IFEMA
6.30 pm: Papal Farewell ceremony at the Barajas Airport


On August 17 a demonstration against public funding of the World Youth Day and for a Spanish secular state took place in Madrid. The protesters were confronted by riot police with truncheons. Eight people were arrested and eleven were injured. [12]

Protests centred on the Pope and the number of protestors never reached beyond a few thousand. No WYD events were interrupted by their demonstrations. There were a few scuffles between pilgrims and the protestors. [13]

Next event

On 21 August 2011, at the closing Mass, the Pope revealed that the next event will be held in 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The location was leaked a few months before this however. World Youth Day 2013 was held 2 years later, due to Brazil's hosting of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.

Related Research Articles

World Youth Day 1995 international Catholic youth event

World Youth Day 1995 was a Catholic youth festival that took place from January 10–15, 1995 in Manila, Philippines. It was the first time for an Asian country to host the event. Pope John Paul II presided over the event, marking his second trip to the country as Pope after his visit in 1981, and also the last papal visit in the country of the 20th century and 2nd millennium.

World Youth Day 2005 international Catholic youth event

The 20th World Youth Day was a Catholic youth festival that started on August 16 and continued until August 21, 2005 in Cologne, Germany. It was the first World Youth Day and foreign trip of Pope Benedict XVI, who joined the festival on August 18. This meeting was decided by the previous pope, John Paul II, during the Toronto World Youth Day of 2002. The theme was "We have come to worship Him".

World Youth Day 2002 17th World Youth Day of the Catholic Church held in Toronto

The 17th World Youth Day 2002 (WYD2002) was a Catholic youth festival held July 23-July 28, 2002, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. World Youth Day is a celebration of faith begun by Pope John Paul II held on an international level every two to three years, and WYD2002 was the 10th such event. Although WYD is designed for Catholics, it attracts sizable numbers of youths from other faiths and denominations and was presented as a multi-faith celebration of young people from all over the world.

World Youth Day 2008 international Catholic youth event

The 23rd World Youth Day was a Catholic youth festival that started on 15 July and continued until 20 July 2008 in Sydney, Australia. It was the first World Youth Day held in Australia and the first World Youth Day in Oceania. This meeting was decided by Pope Benedict XVI, during the Cologne World Youth Day of 2005. The theme was "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you".

The Year of the Eucharist is the name of the liturgical year from October 2004 to October 2005, as celebrated by Catholics worldwide. On June 10, 2004, Pope John Paul II announced the dedication of an entire year to the Blessed Sacrament and invited the entire Church to reflect upon the Eucharist.

Antonio Cañizares Llovera Spanish Catholic cardinal

Antonio Cañizares Llovera is a Spanish Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who is the Archbishop of Valencia. He is the former Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments from 2008 to 2014, and former Archbishop of Toledo and Primate of Spain from 2002 to 2008. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 2006. He was appointed Archbishop of Valencia in August 2014, a move which removed him from the Congregation.

Madrid-Cuatro Vientos Airport the oldest Spanish airport and one of the civil airports of Madrid

Madrid–Cuatro Vientos Airport, also known as Cuatro Vientos Airport, is the oldest airport in Spain, established in 1911 and one of the three civil airports of Madrid along with Madrid–Barajas and Torrejón Air Base. The airport is located 8 km (5.0 mi) southwest of the city centre. The name "Cuatro Vientos" translates into English as "Four Winds."

World Youth Day 2000 international Catholic youth event

World Youth Day 2000 was a Catholic youth festival held from August 15–20, 2000 in Rome, Italy.

<i>Xt3</i> is an award-winning Catholic social online network and news site, established for the 2008 World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia. The name stands for "Christ in the Third Millennium" and is operated by the Archdiocese of Sydney, with the support of Archbishop Cardinal George Pell.

Receive the Power song performed by Guy Sebastian

"Receive the Power" is a gospel song written by Guy Sebastian and Gary Pinto, and performed by Sebastian and Paulini. It was chosen in May 2007 as the official anthem for the Roman Catholic Church's XXIII World Youth Day (WYD08) held in Sydney in 2008.

Manga Hero is an American publisher based in San Rafael, California that publishes graphic novels influence by Japanese manga. The company's stories typically involve heroic characters that usually come from a Jewish or Christian background. Manga Hero's current publications include Paul: Tarsus to Redemption, written by Matthew Salisbury and Gabrielle Gniewek, as well as Judith: Captive to Conqueror and Many Are Called both written by Gabrielle Gniewek. The writers are from John Paul the Great Catholic University in San Diego. Sean Lam illustrated both series and lives in Singapore. Sean also illustrated a single volume comic titled It Takes a Wizard published by Seven Seas Entertainment in 2009. The organizers of World Youth Day 2011 recently announced that Manga Hero will launch a special comic titled Habemus Papam! where 300,000 copies will be distributed during the event in Madrid. This comic chronicles the life of Pope Benedict XVI and will be published in English and Spanish. Manga Hero hired Regina Doman in 2012 to write a more detailed graphic novel biography of Pope Benedict XVI, also illustrated by Sean Lam, based on the World Youth Day 2011 book and also titled Habemus Papam! In 2014, the publisher developed a full color graphic novel about Pope Francis written by Regina Doman and illustrated by Sean Lam. Manga Hero is also developing graphic novels on Pope John Paul II and Maximilian Kolbe.

World Youth Day 2013 International Catholic youth event

World Youth Day 2013, stylized WYDRio2013, was the 14th international World Youth Day, an international Catholic event focused on religious faith and youth. The host city of World Youth Day 2013 was Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as announced by Pope Benedict XVI at the end of the closing Mass of World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid, Spain. The events were scheduled to be held from 23 July to 28 July 2013.

World Youth Day 2016 International Catholic event celebrated from July 25–31, 2016 in Kraków, Poland

World Youth Day 2016 was the 15th World Youth Day, an international event organised by the Catholic Church and focused on faith and youth that took place from 26 to 31 July 2016 in Kraków, Poland. It was the third World Youth Day held in Central Europe.

World Youth Day 2019 International catholic event celebrated on January 2019 in Panama

World Youth Day 2019 was the 16th World Youth Day, an international event organized by the Catholic Church and focused on faith and youth. Taking place 22–27 January in Panama City, Panama, it was the first of its kind celebrated in Central America.

World Youth Day 1991 international Catholic youth event

The 1991 World Youth Day was held in 10–15 August 1991 in Jasna Góra in Częstochowa, Poland. The choice of another European city after Santiago de Compostela meant that, so far unique, two consecutive world days were held in the "old continent". It was celebrated in the Pope's native country. The theme can be summarized in the sentences You have received a spirit of sonship and It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. 1.6 million people gathered on the final Mass.

The World Youth Day 1997 took place from 19 to 24 August 1997 in Paris, France. About 1,200,000 young people took part in the meeting.


  1. "Chronicle of World Youth Days". Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  2. "Pope's youth day draws a million -- and controversies" . Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  3. Brown, Andrew (18 August 2011). "The pope draws 1.5 million young people to Madrid – but that's not news? - Andrew Brown". the Guardian. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  4. "Pope Calls for a ‘New Age’ in Final Australia Mass", The New York Times , July 20, 2008
  5. "Spanish Bishops Propose Youth Day Patron" . Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  6. "Saints proclaimed during the Pontificate of John Paul II". Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  7. "Archimadrid" (PDF). Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  8. (, Deutsche Welle. "On World Youth Day visit, pope urges Spain to preserve Christian roots - Europe- News and current affairs from around the continent - DW - 18.08.2011". DW.COM. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  9. "Pope Benedict's Spain arrival sparks violent protests", The Christian Science Monitor, August 18, 2011
  11. "Archimadrid". Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  12. "Anti-Pope protests in Madrid injure 11". August 18, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  13. Reuters or empty |title= (help)