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Pope to young people at WYD vigil: We did not come into the world to "vegetate"

2016-07-30

Pope Francis arrived at Campus Misericordiae or "Field of Mercy” holding the hands of several youth of the world. Together, they passed through this symbolic Holy Door.

Even some accompanied him in the Popemobile to the huge stage designed for the occasion. The Pope wanted young people close to him and he asked them to sit beside him.

Several testimonies were interspersed throughout a spectacular show. For example, the importance of forgiveness was explained with this recreation of John Paul II's visit to the man who shot him, Ali Agca, while he was in prison.

One testimony, from a Syrian girl named Rand, explained to the Pope how being a Christian helps her overcome the pain and horror of war in her country.

"More and more, I believe that God exists despite all of our pain. I believe, further, that sometimes through our pain, He teaches us the true meaning of love. My faith in Christ is the reason for my joy and hope."

Pope Francis explained to young people that in the face of violence and wars, the attitude of Christians must be different.

POPE FRANCIS
"We have no desire to conquer hatred with more hatred, violence with more violence, terror with more terror. We are here today because the Lord has called us together. Our response to a world at war has a name: its name is fraternity, its name is brotherhood, its name is communion, its name is family."

Then the Pope proceeded in absolute silence through the Field of Mercy, praying this prayer for all who suffer.

In a carefully worded speech, he invited them not to be drowsy youth and asked them not to settle for a life lived from the sofa, as a couch potato.

POPE FRANCIS
"We didn’t come into this world to "vegetate,” to take it easy, to make our lives a comfortable sofa to fall asleep on. No, we came for another reason: to leave a mark. It is very sad to pass through life without leaving a mark."

He said that God asks each young person to do something great with their lives, to dream and strive to make the world a different place.

POPE FRANCIS
"Today’s world demands that you be a protagonist of history because life is always beautiful when we choose to live it fully, when we choose to leave a mark. Jesus wants your hands to continue building the world of today. And he wants to build that world with you. What will you answer? What do you answer, yes or no?"

The Pope asked them to build a new world, not made up of walls, but bridges. The first way Pope Francis promoted this was by having the youth all hold hands in a very symbolic way of creating unity.

Then came the moment of Eucharistic adoration. More than 1.5 million young people on the Field of Mercy joined the Pope in silent prayer. They also prayed to Our Lady of Czestochowa with this traditional song.

Pope Francis left, but young people will remain and spend the night there. For many, it will be one of those experiences that will change their lives forever.


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