70,000 international pilgrims took part in Days of the Diocese throughout Australia during the week before WYD08
150,000 attended the Opening Mass at Barangaroo and CBD sites
In excess of 400,000 people attended the Final Mass at Southern Cross Precinct
500,000 people came out to welcome His Holiness on Thursday 17 July on the Boat-a-cade, Official Arrival at Barangaroo and Motorcade
223,000 people registered for pilgrim services during WYD08 (110,000 international pilgrims + 113,000 local pilgrims)
Over 170 nations were represented at World Youth Day Sydney 2008
168 international flags took part in the Procession of Flags at the WYD08 Opening Mass


WYD08 events were watched live by an estimated international TV audience of 500 million, with TV and internet audiences combined reaching 1 billion, the WYD08 official online social networking site, is expected to attract 225,000 pilgrims as a result of the event
The World Youth Day website received over 500,000 unique users from Saturday 12 July to Sunday 20th July with the biggest spike in hits occurring Thursday 17th July.
WYD08 online streaming received over 250,000 visits during the event period, watching events live all around the world
Top countries watching online streaming included USA, UK, Italy, Canada, Spain and Germany
There were 2,000 accredited media for WYD08


450 Youth Festival events took place during the week from Tuesday to Sunday in over 100 venues
30 large national gatherings took place during WYD08
134 international pilgrims from 58 countries were part of the International Liturgy Group (ILG), as well as a representative from each Australian State and Territory. The ILG undertook the main duties of the liturgies including readings, offertory procession, altar servers, testimonials, flag bearers.
In Terrey Hills, more than 350 cardinals and bishops from overseas enjoyed a lunch hosted by the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell.
An average of 2,500 pilgrims walked through the Vocations Expo every hour
Catechesis was delivered at 235 locations across Sydney in 29 different languages
The WYD08 Choir consisted of 300 members, the WYD08 Orchestra was an 80 piece orchestra
1,000 priests heard confession during the WYD08 week


Once the Journey of the Cross and Icon reached Wollongong for the 15 Day walk, it had travelled nearly 80,000km around Australia
The Cross and Icon visited over 400 Australian communities during the 12 month pilgrimage around Australia
Nearly 400,000 people touched the Cross throughout Australia
The WYD Cross is 3.8m high and 1.75m wide, weighing some 40 kilograms
The WYD Icon is 118cm high and 79cm wide, weighing some 15 kilogram
4,000 pilgrims took part in the final day of the Journey of the Cross and Icon on Monday 14th July when it travelled on a Manly Ferry before being walked through central Sydney


6,000 blankets were donated by Qantas to pilgrims from across Oceania
37 lucky Burmese pilgrims overcame VISA difficulties to finally make it to Sydney for WYD08
At the WYD Big Aussie BBQ, 220,000 slices of bread were consumed – if laid end to end, it would cover the Sydney Harbour Bridge 21 times
100,000 pilgrims slept in 400 schools and parishes
Over 12,000 pilgrims stayed in Sydney Olympic Park throughout the week
40,000 were billeted as part of the WYD08 HomeStay program


The Pope’s flight to Sydney took 19 hours and 45 minutes
The Pope’s flight home will take 21 hours
From Rome the flight travelled a total distance of 16,500 kilometres
The Pope will fly back to Rome on a Qantas flight, stopping off Darwin for a brief refuelling
The Pope sent six daily inspirational text messages
The Pope met six native Australian animals from Taronga Zoo when in Kenthurst - a wallaby, koala, python, lizard, baby crocodile and an echidna
12 lucky young people lunched with the Pope on Friday 18 July. This included Australians Craig Ashby from Sydney and Teresa Wilson from Melbourne
24 people were confirmed by the Pope at the Final Mass including 14 young Australians and 10 international young people
The Pope lunched with 50 current and retired Australian Bishops in St Mary’s Cathedral House
The Pope kissed four small children during his Motorcades


8,000 WYD08 volunteers assisted during WYD08
His Holiness held a special event to specifically thank the volunteers at the Domain prior to his departure


There were 4,000 priests and deacons, 420 Bishops, 26 Cardinal s and one Pope present at WYD08
500 special WYD08 chasubles for the Bishops and Cardinal s were made
4,000 stoles were made for the priests
1.1 million communion hosts were made for the WYD08 Masses


25 million food items were ordered for WYD08
3.6 million meals were distributed across approximately 400 venues during the week
215,000 meat pies, 360,000 lamingtons and 100,000 litres of Dairy Farmers Milk were consumed


400,000 people attended the Final Mass at Randwick Racecourse and Centennial Park
235,000 faithful attended the night time Vigil at Randwick Racecourse.
Over 200,000 pilgrims camped at Randwick Racecourse overnight in anticipation of the Final Mass
232,000 candles were used during WYD08
100 actors took part in the Stations of the Cross performance
4000 toilets were in use at the Southern Cross Precinct


World Youth Day Ambassadors were:
- Carla Zampatti - leading Australian fashion designer
- Jared Crouch - Sydney Swans Footballer
- The Delezio Family – Ron, Carolyn, Mitchell and Sophie
- Matthew Hayden - Australian Cricketer
- Amelia Farrugia - Australian Opera singer
- Mark Bresciano - Australian Socceroo
- Stephen Moore - Australian Wallaby
- Jimmy Little - Indigenous Australian musician

- Dr John Herron - Chairman of the Australian National Council on Drugs

WYD08 Corporate Affilliates included: Qantas, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Catholic Church Insurances Limited, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Mercedes-Benz, Telstra, The Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph, Harvest Youth Tours, Arnotts, Tip Top, Coca-Cola Amatil and Accor Hospitality, Captain Cook Cruises BridgeClimb, Taronga Zoo, The Catholic Weekly, Avis, Cadbury, Cerebos Foods, Dairy Farmers, Mrs Mac's, Sanitarium, Schenker, SACL, Safcol, Moore Stephens

There were 10 World Youth Day Patrons including: St Thérèse of Lisieux, St Faustina Kowalska, St Maria Goretti, St Peter Chanel, Blessed Peter To Rot, Blessed Mary MacKillop, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, John Paul II, Our Lady of the Southern Cross

Source: Cathnews

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