Friday, May 03, 2013

Pope Francis’ message to the young: “Entrust yourselves to God and dare to dream”

RioThe bond between Pope Francis and young people is growing ever stronger, especially ahead of the World Youth Day (WYD) that is going to be held in Rio de Janeiro between 23 and 28 July.

In his latest tweet - it is worth noting here that the @Pontifex Twitter account in nine languages is about to reach 6 million followers – the Pope wrote: “Dear young people do not bury your talents, the gifts that God has given you! Do not be afraid to dream of great things!”

Brazil is going to be Pope Francis’ only international destination for 2013, the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, informed. Alberto Gasbarri, the man in charge of organising the Pope’s international visits, arrived in Rio Tuesday to put together Francis’ schedule for the upcoming World Youth Day.

Gasbarri took part in a closed-door meeting held in the Palazzo Sao Joaquim with the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro and the president of the local WYD organisational committee, Mgr. Giovanni D’Aniello, along with federal, state and municipal government representatives. Gasbarri stated: “We already have a schedule, that was planned between October and November last year, but one small change took place: the Pope changed...We had a tunic that was tailor-made to fit the Pope and now we have to make another one. Now we have to update Pope Francis’ schedule, according to the things he wants to focus on.”

The chief organiser of papal trips abroad has confirmed Francis’ attendance “at the WYD’s core events (Papal Welcome Ceremony, Stations of the Cross in Copacabana, the Vigil of Youth with the Pope, and the Final Mass in the Campus Fidei in Guaratiba).”

 “The first main event of this year’s World Youth Day, is the Opening Mass, presided over by Mgr. Orani, which will be celebrated in the Pope’s absence.” Mgr. Orani declared that the WYD represents “a vast horizon that unfolds before everyone to serve the world. There will be young Catholics, Jews, Muslims and Evangelicals of different nationalities and who speak different languages. There will be young people from war-torn parts of the world. Everyone will come together like brothers. Our work needs to have an impact on the future of numerous people.”

Gasbarri has also visited places that will or can be used to host events included in the event schedule.  One of the key places he visited was the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Aparecida in São Paulo, after being invited by the Archbishop of Aparecida and President of Brazil’s Bishops’ Conference, Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno. “The city of Aparecida is able to welcome Pope Francis,” WYD organisers have confirmed.

If the Pope ends up visiting the city, he will be accepting the invitation extended to him by President Dilma Rousseff during the mass for the inauguration of his pontificate in Rome. “The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Aparecida, Patroness of Brazil, is a place the Supreme Pontiff is particularly fond of. He visited it for the first time during the 5th Conference of Latin American and Caribbean Bishops in 2007, in the presence of Benedict XVI.”

The complete schedule of the events Pope Francis will be attending during the WYD, will be published on 7 May.

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