· Meeting with the Organizers of WYD ·
On Saturday afternoon, 20 August, at the Apostolic Nunciature in Madrid, the Holy Father met with the local organizing committees for the wyd . They were coordinated respectively by Mr Ramón Jáuregui, Minister of the Presidency of the Government, and Ms Soledad López, Undersecretary, and by Cardinal Rouco Varela, Archbishop of Madrid, and Auxiliary Bishop Franco Martínez. The following is a translation of the Pope’s Address, which was given in Spanish.
I am pleased to welcome you to the Apostolic Nunciature, and to thank you warmly for all that you have done for the organization of this World Youth Day.
I know very well that, from the moment that it was made public that the Archdiocese of Madrid had been chosen as the centre for this initiative, His Eminence Cardinal Antonio María Rouco Varela launched the work of the Local Organizing Committee in which all those responsible for the different areas involved in an undertaking of this size worked together, coordinated by Bishop César Augusto Franco Martínez, with a deep sense of ecclesial belonging and an extraordinary affection for the Vicar of Christ. Only love for the Church and zeal to evangelize young people can explain this generous commitment of time and energy, which will bear much apostolic fruit. Over the months you have offered your best to the service of the Church’s mission. May God reward you for it a hundredfold, and not just you but your families and your institutions which with self-sacrifice have supported your dedication and care. Since Jesus tells us that not even a cup of water given in his name will go without reward, how much more will be rewarded the daily and unceasing contribution to the organization of a church event of such importance as the one we are now celebrating! Thank you to each one of you.
Similarly, I wish to offer my thanks to the members of the Mixed Commission formed by the Archdiocese of Madrid and the national Government offices, the Community of Madrid and the City Hall which, since the beginning of this World Youth Day, was set up with its gaze fixed upon the hundreds of thousands of young pilgrims coming to Madrid, a city open, beautiful and welcoming. Certainly, without this diligent cooperation, it would not have been possible to realize an event of such complexity and importance. In this regard, I know that many groups placed themselves at the disposal of the Local Organizing Committee, sparing no effort and in an atmosphere of friendly cooperation, which is a credit to this noble nation and to the well-known spirit of hospitality of the Spanish people.
The effectiveness of the Commission shows that cooperation between the Church and local authorities is possible, and not only when they work together on an initiative of such great significance, like the present one, proving the principle that good things bring us together. For this reason, I would like to express to the representatives of the various institutions that have worked boldly for the success of this World Day, my warm and heartfelt thanks in the name of the Church and of the young people who are now enjoying your welcome and diligence.
Upon all of you, as well as upon your families and institutions, I invoke the Lord’s abundant blessings. Thank you very much.
St. Peter’s Square
Dec. 16, 2017
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