· Pope Francis with young generations ·
As we awaited Pope Francis' first international journey to Rio de Janeiro, everyone was hoping that this would prove something we all suspected. His visit has successfully confirmed just that. Francis has charisma with young people. He speaks to them directly, with sincere words. He speaks to their hearts and their minds so as to respond to Christ from the heart. He speaks with few words so that the message has greater strength.
Perhaps the most exciting of Pope Francis' homilies in Rio was that of the Vigil on Saturday night. It was a treasure. The journey has emphasized the harmony and continuity the last three Popes have had with the youth. Benedict XVI was very present at WYD, receiving the applause of the youth, and Pope Francis — in the memorable press conference on the return flight to Rome — gave reporters a beautiful phrase when he said: “For me, it is like having a wise grandfather at home, if I am in need, I ask for advice”. The youth perceive the Pope's love for them, that they are the future of the Church and the world.
Young people have felt loved by these three Popes and reciprocated this love with their own. The WYD concluded, in fact, with a tribute to John Paul II, the creator of the WYD, when Pope Francis chose the city of Krakow to be the next host of the next WYD in 2016.
We have lived, thanks to Pope Francis' charisma, a deeply effective WYD. The Pope has taught us to go out, to go where people are, to reach the very outskirts of the world. He knows that one of these outskirts are the youth.
St. Peter’s Square
Jan. 17, 2019
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