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40,000 Register for WYD in first week

Kamil Szumotalski
International pilgrims arrive at Warsaw's Chopin Airport for World Youth Day 2016
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Rosary from Christians in Bethlehem will be part of the pilgrim kit.

More than 40,000 young people have registered for World Youth Day (WYD) to be held in Panama in January 2019, according to Father João Chagas of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.

Pope Francis opened registration by personally signing up on February 11, with the assistance of young people at the midday Angelus.

Father Chagas said the organizers expect more than a half million people for the event, which will be held January 22-27, 2019.

As with any World Youth Day, participants won’t be tourists, but pilgrims, the priest noted. Father Chagas also mentioned that an olive wood rosary crafted by Christians of Bethlehem will be included in the pilgrim kit.

To prepare for the first WYD to be held in Central America, 300 youth delegates from around the world will meet in Panama this June.

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