Events organized in Rome for the Jubilee Year drew 21.3 million pilgrims, Archbishop Rino Fisichella informed reporters at a November 21 briefing.
Archbishop Fisichella—who as president of the Pontifical Council for New Evangelization had primary responsibility for organizing the Vatican’s observance—estimated that nearly one billion people passed through a Holy Door somewhere in the world during the Year of Mercy. On a worldwide basis, he said, “the average participation among the Catholic population as a whole was between 56% and 62%.” He said that these statistics were based on reports from “some important dioceses around the world.”
The archbishop also called attention to the large number of pilgrims who traveled to Catholic shrines: 22 million to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico; 3 million in Krakow, and an all-time record at Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
In Rome, the archbishop said, the greatest number of pilgrims registered for Jubilee events were, not surprisingly, Italian. They were followed by German-speaking pilgrims, Americans, Poles, and Spanish. But the list also included visitors from China, Chad, Rwanda, Nepal, and the Cook Islands. “In short,” Archbishop Fisichella said, “we can say that the whole world has come to Rome.”