29/11/2012 “The Vigil of Saturday night, July 27th, and the Final Mass of Rio World Youth Day, July 28th, will be celebrated in Guaratiba, in the western part of Rio de Janeiro (Zona Oeste)” With these words the Mayor of the city, Mr Edoardo Paes, announced the news to 200 delegates representing 75 countries and 40 ecclesial movements and associations during the Preparatory Meeting for WYD in Rio de Janeiro (July 23rd- to 28th 2013). His Eminence Card. Stanisław Ryłko, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, publicly thanked the Mayor, and affirmed “Benedict XVI follows with special attention the preparation of the World Youth Days. He has great hopes for the Church, and the Rio WYD has an extraordinary importance. Everything leads us to think that it will be one of the most beautiful”.
The area chosen to host the two final moments of WYD has a capacity of two millions.
Thus, the chosing of Guaratiba completes the list of the places of the events of WYD in Rio 2013.
Benedict XVI will be welcomed on the beach of Copacabana. The beach will host also the youth welcoming ceremony on July 23rd, and the Way of the Cross on July 26th.
On November 28th, the last day of the Preparatory Meeting for Rio WYD2013 the President of the PCPL, His Eminence Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko, speaking after the greeting of dom Orani Tempesta, archbishop of Rio, affirmed: “The WYD is not a ‘flash in the pan’ but a slow sowing that bears fruit in the life of young people. Let us not waist the immense gift that comes from the WYD. Let us live this last phase of preparation with joy and enthusiasm. The practical problems will be shortly solved. Let us accept with joy the challenge of bringing young people to Christ”. The Cardinal also personally recommended to the 200 delegates the teaching of pope Benedict XVI: “The WYD are considered by the Holy Father a living form of new evangelization. It is, in fact, evangelization the beating heart of every WYD. Trust in God, courage, awareness that it is from small things that great works start, are the foundations of every evangelizing project”. He continued by saying to look at WYD as a particular time of grace. “The organization is important, but even more important is accepting the gift that comes from Above”. Concluding his talk Cardinal Ryłko invited the audience not to forget all those young people who will not be able to go to Rio, but can participate at least spiritually. “The new technologies and internet will help us”, as reminded by Benedict XVI in his message to the youth.
The civil authorities were represented at the meeting by Mr Gilberto Carvalho, Secretary of the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil, who stated: “This project has an enormous historical meaning because it coincides with the building of a new nation. WYD shows the cooperation between Church and Institutions as it goes beyond its religious meaning and wants to welcome not only Catholic young people. The project is to build a renewed society”. A society that will be new and filled with hope.
A session of questions and answers, conducted by the Organizing Committee, concluded the meeting. After the delegates went to visit Corcovado, the 710-metre (2,329 ft) granite peak and the 38-metre (125 ft) statue of Jesus atop its peak, entitled Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer), the symbol of the city of Rio de Janeiro.
In the parish of Our Lady of Peace a Mass followed and a time for Adoration animated by the youth.