"I greet all the university students who are taking part in the international congress promoted by the Prelature of the Opus Dei. Dear friends, you have come to Rome during Holy Week, to strengthen your faith and find spiritual enrichment.”
As a gift, the group gave the Pope a video called 'Faith at 20.' It shows how students from different countries live out their Catholic faith on a day to day basis. The Pope was very grateful.
"I thank you for your prayers and affection. Through your presence in the university environment, every one of you can achieve what St. Josemaría Escrivá hoped for: 'It is in the midst of the most material things of the earth that we must sanctify ourselves, serving God and all mankind.'”
One of those students is Rocco. He says he's the envy of all his friends because he was able to greet the Pope personally.
"He told me to pray for him, these were his words. I asked him to pray for all the young people of UNIV who are participating in the conference during Holy Week. I also asked him to pray for me and my family.”
Other students from Madrid, gave the Pope a unique container, filled with special intentions.
"It's a container full of paper. Students offered their studies and work for a special intention, or a person and even for the Pope. They wrote their intention down on the paper and placed it inside the container.”
Even though the Pope didn't speak English during his general audience, students from English speaking countries, seemed to get the message pretty well.
"We are the future of the Church, so we should be very active in sharing the good news to others, so that's why the youth is so important to these types of celebrations.”
"I wanted to participate to make a pilgrimage to Italy and to, of course, see the Pope and see Italy and be here with all the youth and to show the Pope that he was the support of the youth.”
The presence of so many young people in the audience was a small preview of what the Pope will see next July when he visits Rio to lead World Youth Day in Brazil.