September 2, 2013

Pope John Paul II's visit to Denver 20 years ago for World Youth Day is still "truly a blessing" and "truly a gift" to Colorado and the world, said Archbishop Samuel Aquila.

"The numbers projected to attend were pessimistic.

Some said only 20,000," he recalled, noting the "wringing of hands" that led up to the papal visit in 1993.

"The final registration for WYD was well over 500,000, and with the walk-ins at the closing Mass, there were over 750,000 present."

The Denver archbishop made the comments in his homily during a Mass marking the 20th anniversary of the Catholic Church's international youth event and the papal visit.