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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis to thousands of young people: Living chastely is truly revolutionary

Pope Francis wanted to meet with Slovakia's youth during his apostolic visit to the country. He ended up speaking to some 20,000 of them in Košice's Lokomotiva stadium, in Eastern Slovakia. 

Pope Francis dedicated a lot of time greeting the crowds on the Popemobile to allow as many young people as possible to see him up close.

He then blessed a sculpture of a modern depiction of the Holy Family, featuring a pregnant Virgin Mary.

The Pope heard testimonies from young people like Petra. She told the story of how she was drawn back to confession.

Péter was visibly moved as shared how and his wife Zuzana decided to live chastely while dating after making a pilgrimage. Today, they have three children together.

Lenka and Peter recounted the early problems they encountered in their marriage when they discovered he had an illness. 

Pope Francis spoke to the young people present about chastity. He said that love is something significant that should not be trivialized. 

"Love is not simply an emotion or feeling, even though it may start that way. Love is not about having everything now; it is not part of today’s throwaway culture. Love is fidelity, a gift, and a responsibility."

He asked young people to have the courage to love truly, and to rebel against those who think that life has no consequences, like a TV show. 

"Today, being truly original and revolutionary means rebelling against the culture of the sensory, going beyond shallow instincts and momentary pleasures, and choosing to love with every fiber of your being. Dream fearlessly of creating a family, of having children and raising them well, of spending your life by sharing everything with another person. Don’t be ashamed of your faults and flaws, for there is someone out there ready to accept and love them, someone who will love you just as you are."

Pope Francis passionately spoke to them about confession, and urged them to focus on God's forgiveness rather than their sins. 

The Pope remained energetic despite the encounter being the last event after a full day of ceremonies and travel. 

Before leaving, the Pope spoke with some young people who gave him gifts to remember his visit after he returns to Rome.