World Youth Day - News

 

ST. PETER'S OVERWHELMED BY YOUNG PILGRIMS

VATICAN, Aug. 18 (CWNews.com) -- The huge crowds of young people making their Jubilee pilgrimages through the Holy Door of St. Peter's basilica have caused the Vatican to open a second door. This is the first time in the history of the Vatican basilica-- since the Holy Door was opened for the first Jubilee in 1450-- that an additional door has been designated for pilgrims' entry.

By Friday morning, August 18, at least 250,000 young pilgrims had made their way through the Holy Door in the time since World Youth Day began on Tuesday morning. But despite the best efforts of organizers, the flow of pilgrims soon fell badly behind the pre- arranged schedule. And with a steady stream of pilgrims forming lines from the basilica through St. Peter's Square and onto the streets outside the Vatican, organizers recognized that the extra entry must be opened promptly, or thousands of young people will be unable to make their pilgrimages.

The young pilgrims have had to contend with seasonably hot Roman weather. Most of them carry bottled water as they make their way to the basilica. And the strict dress code at St. Peter's has been relaxed, allowing youngsters to enter wearing shorts and sleeveless blouses. 



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