December 16, 2011. (Romereports.com)
Benedict XVI prayed with some 10,000 university students from Rome in St. Peter's Basilica. It's a traditional meeting that takes place every year before Christmas.
“Dear university students of Rome, I have the joy of meeting with you in this traditional event, I greet you warmly.”
Each young person attending this meeting comes for a different reason, but they all agree that the encounter with the pope is very positive and special.
“It's a good chance for students to renew our Christian spirit, but above all to renew the social commitment that the university has in the society.”
“I have come to be a while, first of all to pray and, with prayer for the Pope to be more attached to him and his intentions.”
“This meeting is always very exciting because the pope has always been very close to the youth. His words are a reference point for us.”
The theme chosen for the meeting was “The question of God today”. Being close to Christmas, the pope invited young people to confront their problems by putting God at the center of their life.
“Dear university friends, let us run with joy to Bethlehem, let us welcome in our arms the baby Jesus that Mary and Joseph presented to us. From Him and with Him, we will face all difficulties.”
At the end of the ceremony, a group of university students from Spain returned an icon called “Seat of Wisdom” to the Italian youth. It's an image of the Virgin Mary with Jesus that was on loan to Spanish universities during this year's World Youth Day in Madrid.