Young people flood Rio for launch of World Youth Day prayer

On the evening of July 13, thousands of young people flocked to Rio de Janeiro for the release of the official World Youth Day prayer as preparations for next year’s global youth event continue.

“The prayer was made so that, in a more intense and focused manner, people may pray for the intentions we have for this one-year countdown mark which is already drawing near,” said Fr. Leandro Lênin, of the Pastoral Preparation Sector within the Local WYD Organization Committee in Rio.

The committee is overseen by Archbishop Orani João Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro with the help of auxiliary bishops of Rio, priests and lay people of the Brazilian Archdiocese.

As the one year countdown approaches, thousands of young people gathered downtown on Friday night for the Mass with Archbishop Tempesta and to say the prayer for the first time.

After Mass, the youth went in procession with the Blessed Sacrament to the Perpetual Adoration Shrine of Sant’Anna, also located in Rio, where the traditional pre-WYD monthly overnight vigil is currently taking place.

The prayer – released in Portuguese, English and several other languages – asks God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit that “driven by their experience of World Youth Day,” young people may bring “to the four corners of the world faith, hope and charity, becoming great builders of a culture of life and peace and catalysts of a new world.”

Recalling Rio’s major religious symbol, the Christ the Redeemer statue, the prayer says that the image of its open arms on the top of Corcovado Mountain reminds the world that Jesus “welcomes all people.”

Fr. Leandro Lênin explained in an interview on the official WYD site that in preparing the text, the committee had to rely on the Holy Spirit in “true moments of prayer, in which we tried to meditate and put together all the characteristic elements of a World Youth Day.”

“The prayer is essentially Trinitarian, and above all, it invokes the Holy Spirit to favor the formation of the new disciple-missionaries who will go to out to evangelize in the four corners of the planet,” he said.

“As we pray for WYD, we also want to pray for those who are donating their time in partnership with us. We pray for the volunteers, for all things about to happen on the path towards the event and most importantly, for the pilgrims who will be coming to Rio in July of 2013.” [More]