World Youth Day registration hits 440,000

July 11, 2011

World Youth Day 2011 Logo

Organizers of this year's World Youth Day say the figures for registration and requests to volunteer are higher than ever and auger well for a successful gathering in Madrid in August.

Pope Benedict is scheduled to attend the event and organizers said they expect more than one million young pilgrims to join him.

Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, who leads the Vatican agency organizing the event, said some 440,000 young people had signed up by June 28, a record number for registrations with the event still six weeks away.

At a news conference June 28, Rylko said Pope Benedict chose the Spanish capital for the Aug. 16-21 event because of Europe's need to rediscover its Christian roots.

The pope will spend Aug. 18-21 in Madrid, meeting with the young people several times and even hearing the confessions of some of them.