Benedict XVI Tells Youth: See You in Sydney

>> Sunday, March 16, 2008

Benedict XVI Tells Youth: See You in Sydney

Asks for Prayers That July Event Will Bring Renewal

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 16, 2008 ( Benedict XVI is asking prayers for young people, so that this summer's World Youth Day in Sydney might be a time of "deep and lasting spiritual renewal."

The Pope made this appeal in English today after he prayed the midday Angelus with thousands gathered in St. Peter's Square. He celebrated Palm Sunday Mass and the diocesan-level Youth Day this morning, offering a special greeting to the young people gathered in the square.

"I address [my greeting] in a special way to young people," the Holy Father said, "come from many countries of the world on the occasion of the World Youth Day, which the beloved Servant of God John Paul II wanted to link with Palm Sunday. In this moment my thoughts turn to Sydney, in Australia, where the preparations are under way for the great meeting that I will have with the young people of the whole world from July 15 to 20 of this year.

"I thank the Italian bishops' conference, Cardinal Pell, the archbishop of Sydney, and his collaborators in particular, for all the work that they are doing with such commitment. I am also grateful to the Australian federal and state officials for the generous support offered to this important initiative. See you in Sydney!"

After the Angelus, when the Holy Father addressed the people in various languages, he again turned his attention to World Youth Day in his English-language greeting.

"I welcome the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors here this Palm Sunday, when we acclaim Jesus, model of humility, our messiah and king. In a special way I greet all the young people gathered in Rome. I am looking forward to seeing many of you, together with thousands of others from across the globe, at World Youth Day in Sydney," he said. "Let us all pray for our young people, that World Youth Day will be a time of deep and lasting spiritual renewal.

"May the great events of Holy Week, in which we see love unfold in its most radical form, inspire you all to be courageous ‘witnesses of charity' to your friends, your communities and our world. Upon each of you present and your families, I invoke God's blessings of peace and wisdom."



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