World Youth Day. Pope Francis: “Each of us is an “original”.

More than one and a half million people took part in World Youth Day (Lisbon, 1- 6 August).  Fragments of the Pope’s speeches.

“You are not here by accident. The Lord has called you, not only in these days but from the very beginning of your days. He called you by name. Each of us is called by name. You, you and you, all of us here, myself included: all of us have been called by name. None of us is a Christian by chance; all of us were called by name. In God’s eyes, we are precious children, and he calls us each day in order to embrace and encourage us, to make of us a unique and original masterpiece. Each of us is an “original”, whose beauty we can only begin to glimpse.” (Welcome Ceremony of the Young at the Parque Eduardo VII”.

“I would encourage you, then, to keep seeking and to be ready to take risks. At this moment in time, we are facing enormous challenges; we hear the painful plea of so many people. Indeed, we are experiencing a third world war fought piecemeal. Yet, let us find the courage to see our world not as in its death throes, but in a process of giving birth, not at the end, but at the beginning of a great new chapter of history. We need the courage to think like this. So, work to bring about a new “choreography”, one that respects the “dance” of life by putting the human person at the centre.” (Meeting with university students at the Universidade Católica Portuguesa of Lisbon)

“Jesus dries our hidden tears with his tenderness. Jesus wishes to relieve our loneliness with his closeness.  Moments of loneliness are sad indeed, yet Jesus is there; he wants to relieve that loneliness.  Jesus wishes to calm our fears, your fears, my fears; he wants to calm those deep fears with his consolation.  He also desires to encourage us to embrace the risk of loving.  Indeed, you know it well, better than I do, that to love is risky.  We must take the risk of loving.  Yet, though it is a risk, it is a risk worth taking, and Jesus accompanies us as we do.  He always accompanies us, always walks with us.  Throughout our lives, he is always by our side.”  (Stations of the Cross with Young People) 

“Yet the Church and the world need you, the young, as much as the earth needs rain. Jesus now speaks to you, who are the present and the future of our world… do not be afraid….Dear friends, allow me, as an older person, to share with you young people a dream that I carry within me: it is the dream of peace, the dream of young people praying for peace, living in peace and building a peaceful future…. What is more, you are a sign of peace for the world, showing how different nationalities, languages and histories can unite instead of divide. You are the hope of a different world. Thank you for this. Onwards!”  (At the conclusion of the Holy Mass for World Youth Day)

Before concluding the World Youth Day, Pope Francis invited young people “from all over the world” in Rome for the Jubilee and announced Seoul, South Korea, as the next World Youth Day site. The event will take place in 2027. He also invited the young people present to come to Rome for the 2025 Jubilee Year, calling it the “Jubilee of Young People”.

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