The general audience has returned after the July break, but this time it was not in St. Peter's Square, but in the Paul VI Audience Hall, due to the intense heat in Rome. It was extremely packed, yet, the pilgrims excitedly received the Pope.
Pope Francis summarized his recent trip to Poland and shared what he learned. He spoke of the evidence of 'fraternity' amongst young people around the world at WYD and said that on this trip he has found "the answer of a world that is at war."
"They have given an answer to the challenge of today. They have given a sign of hope and this sign is called 'fraternity.' Because in this world at war, brotherhood is needed, closeness is needed, dialogue is needed, friendship is needed. This is the sign of hope: When there is fraternity."
He praised the efforts of both the volunteers and attendees at WYD, so that different countries were able to find ways to understand each other.
He recalled his prayer at the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, patroness of Poland, and explained that there he realized where the Poles' strong faith comes from. He sent them this message.
"Poland, with its rich cultural and spiritual heritage, today reminds us that Europe has no future apart from its founding values, centered on the Christian vision of man."
He also touched on his silence at Auschwitz, where he prayed for all the people who lost their lives there.
"In that silence, I pondered all that happened there, remembered the victims, and sensed the mercy of God that made itself felt even in that abyss of evil."
He said this visit allowed him to understand the value of remembering, not as a simple memory, but as a warning so that hatred and violence are not repeated.
The Pope also remembered Susana, a young Roman who died of meningitis while returning from Krakow after WYD.