G'Day Pilgrims! Pope Heads Down Under

So does his friend, 19-year-old Patrick Pietuszko, who said, "I like sharing my faith with other young people from around the world but I've met a lot of young people here who are not even Catholic; Christians who are just happy to be part of this event."

This pope's predecessor, John Paul II, started World Youth Day 1984. It is now held every three years in a different country. The location of the next event will be announced Sunday, the last day of this one, as is traditional.

Maxime Pontgelard, 22, a French student from Brittany, went to to World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, in 2005. There, he saw Pope Benedict soon after he was elected and when he was still unknown to most Catholics. He told ABC News that he enjoyed that World Youth day so much that he had to be in Sydney this year.

"I love this event," he said. "There are lots of people of different nationalities; you can meet people of different countries, cultures, exchange e-mail addresses and continue to be in touch after this."

Pontgelard admitted that he doesn't go to church much back at home and doesn't always agree with the church or the pope. Still, he loves prayer and believes World Youth Day revitalizes his faith.

Like Maryanne Kua, a teacher from Papua, New Guinea, who came with a group of 43 from her church, many people here hope for some spiritual change in their lives after leaving Sydney. "I wanted to come and hear what the pope has to say and see him for myself," Kua said.

Nozomi Okuno, an 18-year-old student form Kyoto, Japan, came with 100 others in her group. "I was told this trip would change my life and that I would enjoy it so I had to come," Okuno said. "I am very excited."

Hannah Atkinson, 17, of Ojai, Calif., said, "I came here to meet a whole bunch of people and see the pope. He's amazing and so influential.

"I hope to become more aware, more forgiving after this trip. I hope the pope will open my eyes and he will give us the power he wants to give us."

While World Youth Day got underway in the city, the pope continued his rest in a rural retreat outside Sydney away from the public eye.

His day was much like it was Monday his first day of rest after the long 20-hour flight from Rome, the longest of his papacy so far. He spent a quiet, tranquil time celebrating mass, studying his speeches, praying and strolling on the grounds.

He will move to Sydney and stay at Cathedral House from Wednesday evening, ready for his first public appearance in the city Thursday.

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