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Archive for Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pope welcomes world youth pilgrims

July 15, 2008

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— A massive Catholic youth celebration kicked off today with an Australian "G'Day" and a welcoming text message from Pope Benedict XVI to the tens of thousands of pilgrims who have traveled to Sydney from around the world.

As the clock struck midnight, a giant countdown clock ticked over to read "G'Day Pilgrims" - Good Day Pilgrims - drawing wild cheers from flag-waving youth who had gathered at St. Mary's Cathedral to mark the start of the six-day celebration.

Registered pilgrims received the first of daily inspirational text messages from the pope: "Young friend, God and his people expect much from u because u have within you the Fathers supreme gift: the Spirit of Jesus - BXVI."

Organizers say nearly 250,000 people have registered for World Youth Day, more than half of them from overseas.

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