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Aim to foster Faith around the world

Pope Francis calls for prayers that the joy of Faith felt at WYD2013 will echo worldwide

POPE Francis has asked Catholics to pray that the joy of Faith pilgrims felt at World Youth Day pilgrims will continue to resonate around the world.

“I ask you to join me in praying that the youth who have participated in World Youth Day can translate this experience into their daily journey,” the Pope said during his Angelus address last Sunday. “Into their daily conduct, and also into their important life choices, responding to the personal call of the Lord.”

The Pope, speaking to those gathered in St Peter’s Square in 37C heat, warned that large events such as  World Youth Day are not just ‘fireworks, moments of enthusiasm for their own sake’ but rather, ‘they are stages of a long journey’ to follow Christ.

“Always remember, youth don’t follow the Pope, they follow Jesus Christ, carrying his cross,” he said.  “And the Pope guides and accompanies them in this journey of faith and hope.”

The Holy Father went on to talk about the particular difficulties faced by the youth of today saying the world was as ‘challenging’ for young people as it ever had been before.

“Young people are particularly sensitive to the emptiness of meaning and values which surrounds them,” he said. “And unfortunately, they pay the consequences.”

Yet ‘meeting the living Jesus, in his large family that is the Church, fills the heart with joy,’ encouraged the Pope.

After leading the crowd in prayer, Pope Francis went on to greet the various groups assembled.

“There are many youth in the square,” he noted with a smile. “This seems like Rio de Janeiro!”

—This story ran in full in the August 9 edition print of the SCO, available in parishes

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