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In the hands of youth

· : 'L'Osservatore Romano' and an anniversary celebrated with a view to the future ·

After 150 years of life, the pace of the history of the Church and the world has finally put L'Osservatore Romano into the hands of young people at school. An agreement with L'Osservatorio Giovani-Editori to provide the newspaper in the schoolroom alongside other important dailies, was freely chosen by professors and students, and in some way marks a new cycle for the newspaper of the Pope.

From a political-religious daily destined mainly for a restricted circle of readers, the paper has become a companion also in the formation of young minds intent on building their future. Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini’s happy definition of “a very singular newspaper”, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of L'Osservatore Romano , has been re-confirmed in this new dynamic form.

The paper is unique because it is very human. And very human because it is a curious diary of divine things that enter into the events of people, considered both as citizens of time and as pilgrims on a journey toward a heavenly land, more beautiful and greater than all that is possible on earth.

The attention to life between time and eternity is the secret of the Vatican newspaper and it could not be otherwise for a Catholic paper, which is open to the universal. Like the Church which is Catholic, it is open to all in every time and place. Capable of harmonizing unity and multiplicity of people and culture, a home where one practices the freedom of the children of God.

In 1861, while L'Osservatore Romano was being born in Rome and in Turin, the unity of Italy was being celebrated for the first time, a priest from Piemonte named Giovanni Bosco, set up the first Salesian printing press for his young artisans. With those machines, which then were avant-garde, operated by young people, Don Bosco printed and distributed the Storia della Chiesa and Letture cattoliche , fore-runners of the modern magazine and instant book. In 1937, Pius xi, a Pope who was friends with Don Bosco and of L'Osservatore Romano , entrusted the Vatican typography, where the Holy See’s newspaper has always been printed, to the Salesians.

The question of young people runs through every society and goes from the height of involvement and interest to complete marginalization. In the midst of sometimes dramatic epochal changes and uncertainty for young people today, Benedict XVI has highlighted the educational emergency, a synonym for the question of young people from its most important and decisive point of view for the reconstruction of society: education.

Attention to the question of young people coincides with the search for new ways and resources for a future of global peace and justice. The availability in the classroom and on the web of the Pope’s newspaper is a good way to commemorate an anniversary ripe with years and experience: celebrate it by planning for the future. In 1861, at the same time as L'Osservatore Romano was founded, a printing house was also founded in the Catholic world, at the time a sign of the desire to keep up with the times. On the eve of the 150th anniversary of his newspaper, Benedict XVI was connected by live satellite link with the 12 astronauts of the international space station – the first time for a Roman Pontiff. A sign of the times of an unchangeable spirit. In order for a newspaper to have a future exploring ever widening spaces in the physical and spiritual universe, young people — regular surfers on the Internet – present the best resource to cultivate to guarantee a better future.




St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 19, 2019