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Rome Reports

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General Audience: The biggest danger for youth is mediocrity and cowardliness

Pope Francis started his rounds in St. Peter's Square with gray clouds looming overhead, but they didn't dull the spirits of the pilgrims. 

Once the popemobile stopped, he made a special trip to see this group of school children with yellow hats. Then he paraded up to the stage with them, accompanied by the music of this band. 

He started a new catechesis series on the 10 commandments. 

“In these catecheses, we will take the two tablets from Moses as Christians, holding Jesus' hands to pass from the illusions of youth to the treasure that is in heaven, walking behind Him. We will discover, in each of those laws, ancient and wise, the door opened by the Father.”

He reflected on the biggest danger for people, especially for young people. He said it was not concrete problems, even if they seem serious, but something else. 

“The greatest danger in life is an evil spirit of adaptation, which is not meekness or humility, but mediocrity, cowardliness. It's cowardliness. A mediocre young person is a young person with a future or not?”


“I can't hear you.”


“No, they remain there. They don't grow. They will not succeed... mediocrity, cowardliness. Those young people who are afraid of everything. 'No, well, I'm like that.' These young people don't move forward.”

In addition to wishing everyone a good feast day of St. Anthony, he also spoke of young Italian man Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, who was an inspiration for youth. 

“Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati said that we must live, not scrape by. Those who are mediocre, scrape by. But, at home, in our houses and families, when we see a young person who sits all day like this, what do his mom and dad think? This kid is sick, he has a problem. Bring him to the doctor, or no? The life of a young person is to move forward. To be restless, a healthy restlessness. It's the ability to not be satisfied with a life without beauty, without color. If young people are not hungry for authentic life, where will humanity go?”

He concluded by wishing all those participating in the FIFA World Cup in Russia an opportunity for encounter, dialogue and brotherhood.