Monday, May 18, 2020

Video Message to the youth of Kraków (Poland)

The Holy Father, Pope Francis has sent a video message to the youth of the city of Kraków (Poland) on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Saint John Paul II.

Video Message of the Holy Father, Pope Francis
addressed to the youth of Kraków (Poland)

Dear young people,

This year, we are celebrating 100 years since the birth of Saint John Paul II.  This is a beautiful occasion for me to speak with you, young people of Kraków, thinking about how much he loved young people, and remembering my visit among you for the World Youth Day in 2016.

Saint John Paul II was an extraordinary gift from God to the Church and to Poland, your country.  His earthly pilgrimage, which began on 18 May 1920 in Wadowice and ended 15 years ago in Rome, was marked by his passion for life and by his fascination for the mystery of God, the world and mankind.

I remember him as a great man of mercy: I think of the Encyclical Dives in misericordia, the canonization of Saint Faustina and the institution of the Sunday of Divine Mercy. In the light of God's merciful love, he grasped the specificity and beauty of the vocation of women and men, understood the needs of children, young people and adults, especially considering cultural and social conditions. Everyone could experience him. You too can experience him today, knowing his life and his teachings, which are available to everyone thanks to the internet.

Each and every one of you, dear young people, bears the imprint of your family, with its joys and sorrows. Love and care for the family is a characteristic trait of John Paul II. His teaching represents a sure point of reference for finding concrete solutions to the difficulties and challenges that families face today (cf Message to the Conference John Paul II, the Pope of the family, Rome, 30 October 2019).

But personal and family problems are not an obstacle on the way to holiness and happiness. Nor were they for young Karol Wojtyła, who suffered the loss of his mother, brother and father as a boy. As a student he experienced the atrocities of Nazism, which took away many of his friends. After the war, as a priest and as a bishop he had to face atheist communism.

Difficulties, even harsh ones, are proof of maturity and faith; proof that it is overcome only on the basis of the power of Christ who died and rose again. John Paul II has reminded the whole Church of this truth since his first Encyclical, Redemptor hominis, where he says: «The man who wants to fully understand himself ... must, with his restlessness and uncertainty and also with his weakness and sinfulness, with his life and death, draw near to Christ. He must, so to speak, enter into Christ with all of himself (RH, 10).

Dear young people, this is what I wish for each of you: to enter into Christ with all your life. And I hope that the celebrations of the centenary of the birth of Saint John Paul II inspire in you the desire to walk courageously with Jesus, who is "the Lord of risk, he is the Lord of always ... beyond. As he did at Pentecost, the Lord wants to accomplish one of the greatest miracles we can experience: to transform your hands, my hands, our hands into signs of reconciliation, communion and creation. He wants your hands - young men, young women, he wants your hands - to continue building the world today (WYD Vigil Speech, Kraków, 30 July 2016).

I entrust all of you to the intercession of Saint John Paul II and I bless you with all my heart.  And you, please, don't forget to pray for me.  Thank you!
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