During the Sunday Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis gave a powerful challenge to those present.
"There are young people in this Square: boys and girls, I have to ask one thing: 'Have you felt the need to become closer to Jesus?' Reflect and pray. And let the Lord speak to you.”
The Pope had explained to them just moments before exactly what following Jesus closely consists of.
"It means totally rejecting the worldly mentality that puts the 'self' and our own interests at the center of existence. This is not what Jesus wants from us.”
Benedict Daswa was a young father in South Africa who was assassinated in 1990 for declining to participate in pagan rituals. The Pope referenced his example.
"His testimony is only one of many from our brothers and sisters (young, old, men, women), persecuted, expelled, murdered, for believing in Jesus Christ. All of them are martyrs, Benedict Daswa and the others. We give them thanks for their testimony and we ask them to pray for us.”
St. Peter's Square was especially full because of the good weather, but also because many people wanted to wish him farewell before his journey to the U.S. and Cuba.