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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis gives youth in Chile password for always being connected to Jesus

Pope Francis came by popemobile to the Maipú sanctuary in Santiago, where thousands of young people awaited him. 

The atmosphere overflowed with joy, and the pope responded to the youth's affection. Upon arriving, the Holy Father was presented with the symbol of Chilean young people leading up to the youth synod that will be celebrated in October 2018 – a blue cross on which Pope Francis hung this red ribbon. The cross symbolizes the youth's commitment to working for the building of one Chile. 

That was exactly what Pope Francis asked of them, to be catalysts for change in Chile, for which he gave them a recommendation. 

POPE FRANCIS
“The path forward, the dreams that have to be concrete, the always looking to the horizon has to be done with feet on the ground. It begins on the ground of the homeland. If you all don't love your homeland I don't think you can love Jesus or love God.”

The heat was suffocating in the sanctuary, and many young people felt its effects. The pope maintained his address while paramedics tended to a girl.  

POPE FRANCIS
“Let's accompany her with a little prayer so she makes a speedy recovery.”

Pope Francis spoke to them about preparation for the synod and encouraged them to participate in preliminary works in each diocese. The pope wants to know what the world youth really think and feel, without a filter. 

POPE FRANCIS
“Us bishops make the synod, thinking of the youth. I fear filters, though, because sometimes the opinions of young people have to make various connections to arrive in Rome, and these propositions can come very filtered – not by the airlines, but by transcribers – so that's why I want to listen to the youth.”

In addition, the Holy Father encouraged them to play a part in the Church, so that it might have a young face. 

POPE FRANCIS
“The Church must have a young face, and you all have to give us that. Obviously, a young face isreal, full of life, not young because of makeup, with rejuvenating creams. That doesn't work.”

During a long address in which Pope Francis frequently improvised, he made a simile between cell phones and faith. The pope explained to the youth that when they feel their out of battery or don't have Internet connection, they should apply one of St. Albert Hurtado's simple formulas. That way, they'll always be connected to Christ. 

POPE FRANCIS
“Hurtado's password for reconnecting, to maintain the signal, is very simple. Surely none of you brought a cell phone, right? I'd like for you all to write in your phones, if you want, what I tell you. Hurtado asked himself, “What would Christ do in my position?”

The Holy Father concluded the encounter by bestowing his blessing on the young people, who didn't want him to leave. 

“This is the pope's youth!”

Before leaving, Pope Francis wanted to greet a special group of youths. With their hugs, they transmitted the affection of thousands of Chilean young people who attended the event.