Pope's message for WYD: Do not be afraid!

Pope Francis’ message for the 33rd World Youth Day, which will be celebrated at diocesan level on Palm Sunday, March 25th, focuses on helping young people to overcome their fears and discern their true vocation

In the message, published by the Vatican on Thursday, the Pope notes that the forthcoming celebration marks another step in preparation for the international World Youth Day which is due to take place in Panama in January 2019. It also precedes the Synod of Bishops on the theme of youth which is scheduled for October this year, highlighting the importance of young people in the life of the whole Church.

Reflecting on the words of the Angel Gabriel, “Do not be afraid!”, spoken to Mary in St Luke’s Gospel, Pope Francis asks young people to name their own fears. Today, he says, there are many youngsters who continuously photo-shop their images or hide behind false identities, in an attempt to adapt to artificial and unattainable standards. The uncertainty of the jobs market, a sense of inadequacy and a lack of emotional security are other fears which afflict young people, he says.

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Pope: Lent is a time to "Pause", "See" and "Return" to the tenderness of God

Pope Francis celebrated Ash Wednesday Mass in the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome. As per tradition the ceremony started at the Basilica of St. Anselm where the Pope led a penitential procession to the nearby St. Sabina, marking the beginning Lent, the time of preparation for Holy Week.

Pope Francis urged believers to unmask the demons that deaden and paralyze the soul to allow their hearts to beat in tune with the vibrant heart of Jesus.

During the homily which resounded with the invitation to “Pause” in order to look and contemplate, to “See” the real face of Jesus and to “Return” without fear, to experience the healing and reconciling tenderness of God, the Pope said the season of Lent is a time “to remedy the dissonant chords of our Christian life.”

 World Youth Day 2019

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