The second day of the World Youth Day celebration offered a relaxed schedule, beginning with "time for silence for reflection," according to the pilgrims' official handbook. Afternoon events include a pilgrimage walk to the downtown St. Mary's Cathedral, barbecues at hundreds of venues around the city, and a beach party at Sydney's famous Bondi Beach featuring a rapping American priest.
Pope Benedict XVI, enjoying a final day of rest before joining the events, sent a daily text message to pilgrims' cell phones: "The Holy Spirit gave the Apostles and gives u the power boldly 2 proclaim that Christ is risen! - BXVI."
Nearly 250,000 people registered for World Youth Day, more than half from overseas. The scale of the event was revealed when pilgrims arrived in droves and gathered along a waterfront Tuesday near the landmark Sydney Harbor Bridge for a twilight Mass, beginning with a procession of groups from 168 countries waving their national flags.