Pope Benedict XVI will get a bird’s eye view of the famous Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks Rio de Janeiro during his visit to the city for World Youth Day 2013.
Archbishop Orani Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro told reporters that while
it has not yet been determined if the Pope will personally visit the
monument, “(h)e will take a ride around it via helicopter.”
Standing nearly 100 feet tall, the well-known statue is located atop
Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park, above the city
where preparations for the 27th World Youth Day are being made.
Recently named one of the wonders of the modern world, the Christ the
Redeemer Shrine will be open to visitors 24 hours a day during World
Youth Day, which will be held in the city July 23-28.
Archbishop Tempesta said groups of 25 to 30 young people of various
nationalities will be organized to visit the shrine and pray for the
world and for peace.
Nearly two million young people are expected to attend World Youth Day in Rio this summer.
Started in 1985, the event is hosted in different cities around the
world and includes periods of prayer, cultural activities and catechesis
sessions, along with messages from the Pope and an overnight vigil.
The theme for this World Youth Day is “Go and make disciples of all
nations” (Mt 28:19). Its symbols are the cross and icon of Our Lady.
In his message for the 27th World Youth Day, Pope Benedict emphasized
that the human heart is made for joy, which is found in God and
“intimately linked to love.”
Pointing to the witness of the saints, he explained that “Christian joy
is not a flight from reality, but a supernatural power that helps us to
deal with the challenges of daily life.”
When we follow the commandments, the Holy Father said, we are adhering
to “essential and valuable rules leading to a happy life in accordance
with God’s plan.”