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MADRID — A cloudless blue sky turned to inky night as hundreds of thousands of pilgrims participated in the opening Mass for World Youth Day, celebrated by Madrid Cardinal Antonio Rouco Varela.
Protected from the heat by white umbrellas and streams of soft mists, dozens of bishops and priests gathered on and around the makeshift altar to celebrate the Mass for pilgrims representing their homeland with flags, special hats, T-shirts and banners.
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Video — Vatican: Pope's agenda during World Youth Day
Video — What is World Youth Day?
Pope Benedict asks pilgrims to pray for world Youth Day in Madrid
John Paul II, Benedict XVI and 26 years of World Youth Day