March 31, 2010.
University students from all over the world have given Benedict XVI a letter and their thanks on the fifth anniversary of his papacy.
More than 4,000 students from 200 universities that participate in the UNIV congress met in Rome to show their support.
“Greetings to the university students from different countries that are participating in the International congress promoted by the Prelature of Opus Dei.”
In his message, the pope used words from St. Josemaria Escriva, Opus Dei founder and inspirator of the UNIV congress.
"The liturgies of these days invite us to ponder Christ’s saving sacrifice and his promise of new life. In this Year for Priests, the Holy Thursday Chrism Mass, at which priests renew the promises made on the day of their ordination, will take on a particular significance. May priests everywhere be conformed ever more closely to Christ as heralds of his message of hope, reconciliation and peace.”
The pope greeted them and thanked them in four languages for their visit during this significant time of Holy Week.
“I invite all of you to pray for those priests who will renew their priestly promises along with their bishops tomorrow during Chrism Mass. We ask that their happiness and love for Christ grows stronger each day so that they’ll be able to deliver hope, reconciliation and peace to their brothers.”
In the letter handed to Benedict XVI, the students showed him their support in the midst of the issues facing the Church in recent weeks due to the sexual abuse crisis.
“Over all to recognize his work, his person and to recognize what he represents”.
“He has tremendous intellectual talents and has written widely and has been a professor but he always uses his intellect and his writings to do what he can to spread the truth.”
Natasha, was one of the participants from Ireland. She thanked the pope for his letter to Irish Catholics and for bringing attention to the sexual abuse cases. She gave the pope a drum, a symbol to resonate the pope’s message along with a cross of St. Patrick, an symbol that marks the beginning of Christianity in Ireland. They also asked the pope to bless 500 rosaries which they’ll distribute in their country to pray for the pope’s intentions.
The UNIV congress participants will be in Rome until Easter Sunday attending Holy Week ceremonies. A gathering that will strengthen the bond between the pope and the youths.