Pope Francis: John Paul II to Become World Youth Days' 'Great Patron Saint'

Looks Ahead to 2016 Event in Poland

Vatican City, (Zenit.org) | 1649 hits

Prior to the recitation of the Angelus at the conclusion of the Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis addressed the faithful and gave special greetings.

The Holy Father first greeted 250 delegates, consisting of bishops, priests, religious and laypeople, who participated in the meeting regarding World Youth Days that the Pontifical Council for the Laity had organized.

He noted, "In this begins the journey of preparation for the next world gathering, which will take place in June 2016 in Krakow and will have as its theme 'Blessed are the merciful, for they will find mercy (Matthew 5:7).'"

Francis explained what would happen next: "In a moment the young people of Brazil will hand over the World Youth Day Cross to the young people of Poland. 30 years ago Blessed John Paul II handed over the cross to young people. He asked them to carry it throughout the world as a sign of Christ’s love for humanity."

The Pontiff acknowledged the "joy" of upcoming canonization on April 27th "of this Pope [John Paul II] together with John XXIII."

Francis continued, "John Paul II, he started the World Youth Days, will become their great patron saint. In the communion of saints he will continue to be a father and friend to the young people of the world.

The Pontiff then recommended that all faithful make a request to the Lord: "Let us ask the Lord that the Cross, together with the image of Mary “Salus Populi Romani,” be a sign of hope for all, revealing to the world the unconquerable love of Christ," he said.

In the moment which followed, the young people of Brazil handed over the cross to the young people of Poland.

The Bishop of Rome went on to greet all Romans and pilgrims present. In particular, he greeted those from Rio di Janeiro, Brazil, and Krakow, Poland, along with each cities' archbishops.

Pope Francis said: "In this context I have the joy to announce that, if it pleases God, on August 15 in Daejeon, in the Republic of Korea, I will meet with the young people of Asia during their great continental gathering."

The Holy Father encouraged the faithful to turn to Mary, so that she may "help us to always follow Jesus’ example with faith." (D.C.L.)

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On Zenit's Web page:

Full Translation: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/on-palm-sunday--2