As World Youth Day 2023 approaches, Spain, the country with the most registered pilgrims, is scrambling to transport thousands to Lisbon.
The Archdiocese of Madrid, Spain, is preparing to send at least 133 bus loads of pilgrims to Lisbon in order to attend World Youth Day 2023, in Portugal. The celebration of young Catholics is scheduled to run from August 1 to 6, and is shaping up to be one of the largest iterations of the triannual event, with 1.2 million pilgrims expected to attend.
According to Macau Business, the city of Madrid has prepared six of its sports pavilions, two “youth centers” and even some parishes to accommodate the droves of pilgrims arriving for WYD, where they will stay until they can make their way to Portugal. While there are over a hundred buses that were arranged through the archdiocese, it noted that many more will come from parishes and lay movements around the city.
Spain is the country with the most pilgrims registered to attend WYD 2023, with some 58,500 signed up. Over all, 313,000 pilgrims from 151 countries have successfully completed their registration, and an additional 663,000 have started their registration, without finalizing it. As WYD is free to attend without registration, organizers have stated that they expect around 1.2 million pilgrims to attend the week-long event.
Madrid alone has 6,647 registered through the archdiocese, with nearly the same number expected to come from parishes and lay movements. With so many needing transportation to Lisbon, the travel plans are expected to take place in two stages. The first will see around 2,500 pilgrims in about 50 buses set off on July 26, to arrive in Braga, Northern Portugal, for initial activities to prepare for WYD. The second group will head straight to Lisbon from Madrid, closer to the opening on August 1.
With only a few weeks left until WYD 2023 kicks off, the excitement for the largest Catholic gathering is heating up. Learn more about World Youth Day 2023 at the official website.