WORLD YOUTH DAY •
The 33rd World Youth Day 2018 will be celebrated throughout the world on Palm Sunday, 25 March, and to mark the occasion, Pope Francis sent a message to the youth in preparation for the international meeting of youth, which will take place in Panama 2019. —
“Dear young people, the Lord, the Church, the world are waiting for your answer to the unique call that each one receives in this life! As World Youth Day in Panama draws closer, I invite you to prepare yourselves for our gathering with the joy and enthusiasm of those who wish to participate in such a great adventure,” he told them.
In his message, the Holy Father reminded them that World Youth Day 2018 is another step in the preparation for the World Youth Day in Panama in 2019: “This new stage of our pilgrimage falls in the same year that the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will meet on the theme: Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment. This is a happy coincidence. The focus, prayer and reflection of the Church will turn to you young people, with the desire to receive and, above all, to embrace the precious gift that you are to God, to the Church and to the world.”
The Holy Father also reminded them that the theme chosen for this World Youth Day is the person of Mary: “the young woman of Nazareth whom God chose as the Mother of his Son” who “we have chosen to be accompanied on this journey by [her] example and intercession.”
Mary walks with us toward the Synod and WYD in Panama
“She walks with us towards the Synod and towards the WYD in Panama,” said Francis and noted that “if last year we were guided by the words of her canticle of praise – “The Almighty has done great things for me” – teaching us to remember the past, this year we seek, together with her, to listen to the voice of God who inspires courage and bestows the grace needed to respond to his call: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God.”
“I invite you once again to contemplate Mary’s love: a caring, dynamic and concrete love. A love full of boldness and focused completely on the gift of self. A Church permeated by these Marian qualities will always be a Church going forth, one that goes beyond her own limits and boundaries to let the grace she has received overflow,” he concluded.
A Schoenstatt that is filled with these qualities will always be a Schoenstatt that goes out. Let us got with Pope Francis and Mary, our ally.
“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God” (Lk 1:30) – Pope Francis’ Message for World Youth Day 2018”
Original: Spanish, 23 February. Translation: Sarah-Leah Pimentel, Cape Town, South Africa