Monday, June 18, 2007
Pope to Youth: be like Francis, in love with Christ
Pope Benedict greets a woman during a meeting with young people at the Santa Maria Degli Angeli Basilica in Assisi June 17, 2007. REUTERS/Tony Gentile (ITALY)
~from Asia News
Assisi (AsiaNews) – Benedict XVI offered a catechises laden with affection and full of courage for the truth to young people, at the culmination of his pilgrimage to Assisi for celebrations marking the 800th anniversary of the conversion of Saint Francis.
At least 25 thousand young people were gathered in the square of Santa Maria degli Angeli, (St. Mary of the Angles) the basilica which surrounds the Porziuncola. Before the pontiff began his address, a teenage boy and girl greeted the pope and posed some questions. His answers were drawn from the life of the saint. The pope spoke of the “aimless wandering”, of the virtual journeys, of the obsession with appearances and ambition, which mark the life of young people today. The pontiff invited the youth to follow Saint Francis in his passionate love for Jesus Christ and for the Church, learning from him to “repair it”. And he asked them to learn how to be open and to dialogue with other religions without falling into the trap of indifference, from the example of the poor man of Assisi. Speaking of the esteem Francis had for priestly vocations, the pope also asked the young people to be ready to say “yes” to a possible call to consecrated life.
He closed with an exhortation: “The time has come for young people, like Francis, to commit themselves and learn how to enter into a personal relationship with Christ. The time has come for us to look upon the history of this third millennium which has just begun, a history that needs more than ever to be lifted by the Good News of the Gospel……You, my dear young people, are my joy”.