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Happiness is not an app

· The Pope celebrates the Jubilee for Boys and Girls and asks them not to be content with a mediocre life ·

“Your happiness has no price. It cannot be bought: it is not an ‘app’ that you can download on your phones”. This was Pope Francis’ admonition to the thousands of young people gathered in St Peter’s Square on Sunday morning, 24 April, to celebrate their Jubilee Mass, which was the culmination of the three Jubilee days attended in Rome by adolescents from around the world. With a simple and direct homily, with a wealth of ideas and references to the everyday experiences of the young, Francis spoke again on the consignment of Christian love: not that “pie in the sky” love or that found in soap operas, he explained, but the “genuine love” that Jesus teaches about. This love, the Pontiff underscored, “is not an easy path. It is demanding and it requires effort”, but in the end “it makes us happy”.

Above all, from the Pope’s standpoint, love means giving: “not only something material, but also something of one’s self: one’s own time, one’s friendship, one’s own abilities”. It is a matter of

being able to “love without being possessive”, letting others be free and witnessing first hand the freedom of “being able to choose the good”. It is a commitment to make “courageous and noble choices”, not accepting “mediocrity” and to foster “responsibility”

After the Mass, at the Regina Caeli the Pope renewed the appeal for the bishops, priests and religious, both Christian and Orthodox, who are sequestered in Syria.

Later in the afternoon, the Pope went to Villa Borghese to meet with leaders of the Mariapolis in Rome organized by the Focolare Movement, where he spoke about the need to have mercy in relationships with others. He spoke of forgiveness in a video message sent on Saturday evening to the young people gathered in Rome’s Olympic Stadium for an evening of celebration and testimony. To sixteen of them in that morning, the Pope had administered the Sacrament of Confession in St Peter’s Square.

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 22, 2018

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