Madrid, Spain (2011)

Date: 16-21 August 2011

Pontificate: Benedict XVI

Theme: “Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith” (cf. Colossians 2:7) 

Song: Firmes en la Fe (Firm in the faith)

We must not keep Jesus for ourselves alone. The message emphasises how in some cultures, despite having endorsed the values of the Gospel, God is eclipsed, the faith received is rejected, and this leads to a loss of identity. The theme speaks of being planted like trees, to have strong foundations like buildings, and to have firm faith and moral strength.  These will help young people to open a personal dialogue with Jesus. The pope tells them that “if you believe, and if you are able to live out your faith and bear witness to it every day, you will become a means of helping other young people like yourselves to find the meaning and joy of life, which is born of an encounter with Christ!” During the vigil, the pope said to the young people, “I urge you to ask God to help you find your vocation in society and in the Church, and to persevere in that vocation with joy and fidelity. It is a good thing to open our hearts to Christ’s call and to follow with courage and generosity the path he maps out for us. (…) Dear young people, if you wish to discover and to live faithfully the form of life to which the Lord is calling each of you, you must remain in his love as his friends. And how do we preserve friendship except through frequent contact, conversation, being together in good times and bad? Saint Teresa of Jesus used to say that prayer is simply ‘friendly contact, often spending time alone with the one who we know loves us’.”

All of the Holy Father’s speeches at WYD in Madrid:

Summary based on the data sheet published by, organ of the Diocese of Rieti.