Madrid's mayor impressed by behavior of youth during World Youth Day

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The mayor of Madrid, Alberto Ruiz Gallardon, has attributed the success of World Youth Day 2011 to the excellent behavior of young people from all over the world.

“I have been mayor of Madrid for 16 years and never in my life have I met people so willing to help out and follow instructions,” Gallardon said during a radio program on Aug. 22.

“Madrid has never put on an event as challenging as this one,” he stressed, noting that all together some three million people participated in the events of World Youth Day.

Gallardon said his own personal experience of the Pope’s visit has left him with much food for thought.  “One thing is that it is amazing that an 84-year-old man can bring together more than one million young people."

“We should focus on the faith and not on a person, but we live in a world in which the abstract needs to be made personal by someone and in which young people need to affirm their willingness to set aside their routines in order meet others like themselves, and be open to getting excited and sharing about a message," the mayor said.

"(A)nd that is what Benedict XVI has done."

He thanked officials and city workers who helped make World Youth Day happen.

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