The first registrant for World Youth Day Madrid isn't Spanish, but German.
It fact, it's Pope Benedict XVI.
The Holy Father registered after a meeting in Rome with Cardinal Antonio Rouco Varela of Madrid and other organizers of the August 2011 event.
The Pope described World Youth Day as "not just a mass gathering but a privileged occasion" for the young people of the world "to be conquered by the love of Christ Jesus, the Son of God and of Mary, the faithful friend, the victor over sin and death."
He added "Those who trust in Him will never be disillusioned, but will find the strength necessary to chose the right path in life."
The Pope says he will keep organizers in his prayers and asked God to bless their efforts that the next World Youth Day may produce "abundant fruits."
Registration is now open to everyone and can be done online HERE.
Organizers encourage early registration to help in planning and funding.
They've also created a Solidarity Fund to help offset costs for young people traveling from poorer countries. In registering, participants are given the option to contribute 10 Euros to the Fund. Here's a commercial from WYD Madrid organizers promoting the initiative:
For more on WYD Madrid, visit the official website HERE.
Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation – Born on the wings of World Youth Day 2002 in Canada, Salt + Light is a unique instrument of the New Evangelization. It is dedicated to being – and helping others become – the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Our mission is to proclaim Jesus Christ and the joy of the Gospel to the world by telling stories of hope that bring people closer to Christ and the Catholic faith.