Next Catholic youth festival in Rio in 2013 - pope
The next World Youth Day festival of the Roman Catholic Church will be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2013, Pope Benedict XVI announced Sunday in Madrid.
"I am pleased now to announce that the next World Youth Day will be held in 2013, in Rio de Janeiro," he said after a mass bringing an end to the Catholic celebrations in Madrid.
"Even now, let us ask the Lord to assist all those who will organise it, and to ease the journey there of young people from all over the world, so that they will be able to join me in that beautiful city of Brazil.
It will be the second time that the youth festival has been held in Latin America, after Buenos Aires in 1987.
Brazil has an estimated 125 million Catholics, and is the largest Catholic country in the world.
"I hope to see you again in two years time at the next World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil," the pope said in Portuguese to 1.5 million people at the Cuatro Ventos airbase outside Madrid.
"Till then, let us pray for each other, witnessing to the joy that brings forth life, rooted in and built upon Christ. Until we meet again, my dear young people! God bless you all!"
Madrid hosted the 26th World Youth Day from August 16-21.
© 2011 AFP