French pilgrims in Rome during Holy Week will number 30,000 states Canon Rodhain, general secretary of the French National Committee for the Holy Year.
Most of the pilgrims will go as individuals or as members of small groups. The majority will be young people. A pilgrimage of students and scouts will number at least 10,000.
Parishes in all parts of the country have opened funds to send a representative to Rome.
More than 250 have already been sent in this way and several thousand more will follow before the end of the year, Each representative takes a gift to the Holy Father, usually a crucifix made by a local artist, which, after being blessed in Rome is placed in the parish church.