Pope Appeals for Prayers for World Youth Day

General Audience Held at Papal Summer Residence

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, JULY 10, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II urged Catholics to pray for the spiritual success of the upcoming World Youth Day in Toronto.



The Pope made his request during today's general audience held in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace here, the papal summer residence, located about 30 kilometers (18 miles) south of Rome.

The Holy Father's physician advised him to avoid the exhaustion of traveling to St. Peter's, as he did in previous years, to keep his traditional appointment with pilgrims.

"I am very happy to be among you, here in Castel Gandolfo where, God willing, as in previous years, I will spend the summer," the Pope told the pilgrims. "I am thinking of the forthcoming World Youth Day, which will take place in Toronto at the end of the month. I ask you to pray so that this important ecclesial meeting will bring the desired spiritual fruits."

Earlier, John Paul II engaged in a meditation on a canticle from the Book of Daniel. The Pope made brief summaries in eight languages, and greeted various groups present.

After speaking for about 30 minutes, at times in a frail voice, the Holy Father personally greeted many pilgrims who attended the audience.

Workers of the Papal Villas of Castel Gandolfo erected a platform for the Pope in the building's courtyard, with a clear view of the crowd and just a few steps from the nearest elevator.