During the noisy and festive gathering with youth from Umbria, the Pope answered their questions on several topics. The first, from a young couple, asked about marriage. Pope Francis responded that the union between a man and woman is a vocation, like that of a priest.
It's based on love, he said, love for each other, and love for God. He lamented that today's society places greater emphasis on individual rights
, over families. He recalls an experience he once had with a couple about to marry.
"You know that marriage is for a lifetime? 'Yes, we love each other, but we'll stay together as long as love lasts. When it's over, we go our separate ways.' That is selfishness.”
Pope Francis added that marriage is risky but he urged youth not to be afraid to take such an important step, and to trust to God will be at their side.
Another question dealt with how to recognize a vocational calling. The Pope answered that each person has their own experience that calls them to God, but that it can't be planned. But just like marriage, he added that it's a lifelong commitment.
"One time I heard a good seminarian say: I want to become a priest for ten years. Then I will think about it again. That's the culture of provisionality. Jesus did not save us provisionally, he saved us definitively.”
Other questions posed what youth can do about evangelization. The Pope asked them to talk about their faith at home, with friends, or with other people they meet. But most importantly, he reminded them of the words of St. Francis.
"Always preach the Gospel. And if it's necessary use words. 'Can you preach the Gospel without words?' Yes! Leading by example. First by example, then with words.”
After answering their questions, the Pope made his way to the crowd and greeted just a few of the thousands of young people gathered to see him. Several also handed him their handwritten letters, hoping for a response from the Pope.