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Rome Reports

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Angelus: Pope Francis invites all youth to participate in preparation for October Synod

In about a month, hundreds of young people will gather in Rome to collaborate in the preparation of a youth synod due to take place in October 2018. During his Sunday Angelus address, though, Pope Francis revealed that youth around the world will also be able to play an active role. 

“However, I strongly desire that all young people might be the protagonists of this preparation. Therefore, they will be able to contribute online through linguistic groups moderated by other young people. The contribution of the 'groups of networks' will be united to those of the meeting in Rome.”

On the first Sunday of Lent, the pope focused the Angelus on temptation, conversion and goodness. The Holy Father explained the season is especially a time to combat evil in all its forms.

“For us, too, Lent is a time of spiritual combat: we are called to face the Evil one through prayer, to be able, with God’s help, to overcome him in our daily life. Unfortunately, evil is at work in our existence and all around us, wherever violence, rejection of the other, being closed, wars, or injustices occur.”

While Lent is a time of repentance, Pope Francis said this process of renewal is a “joyful duty.” By ridding one's self of selfishness, he or she can obtain true happiness. 

“Only God can give us true happiness: it is useless for us to waste our time seeking it elsewhere, in riches, in pleasures, in power, in careers… the kingdom of God is the realization of all our most profound and most authentic aspirations, because it is, at the same time, the salvation of man and the glory of God.”

St. Peter's Square was a sea of umbrellas, as thousands braved the rain. The pope concluded by asking those present to pray for him and Roman Curia members, who later embarked on a week-long spiritual retreat.