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Monday, September 6, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 5 SEP 2010 (VIS) - Having returned from his pastoral visit to the Italian town of Carpineto Romano, at midday today the Holy Father appeared at the balcony overlooking the inner courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered there.

  Before the Marian prayer, Benedict XVI made brief mention of his recently-published Message for the twenty-sixth World Youth Day, due to be celebrated in Madrid, Spain, in August 2011.

  The Pope highlighted how the title of the Message comes from a phrase in St. Paul's Letter to the Colossians: "Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith". This, he observed, "is something which runs decisively against the tide. Who nowadays suggests that young people should be 'planted' and 'firm'? On the contrary, uncertainty, mobility and volubility are exalted; all aspects which reflect a culture hesitant over its fundamental values, the basic principles by which to orient and regulate life".

  The Pope went on: "I myself, through my own experience and through my contacts with young people, am well aware that each generation - indeed, each individual - is called to discover the meaning of life anew. It is for this reason that I wished to offer a message which, following the style of the Bible, evokes the image of the tree and the house. Young people, indeed, are like growing trees: in order to develop correctly they need deep roots which, when storms blow, keep them firmly rooted to the ground. In the same way, the image of a building in construction recalls the need for proper foundations, in order for the house to be solid and secure".

  The Pope highlighted how the words "in Jesus Christ" and "in the faith" represent the heart of his Message. "The full maturity and inner stability of the person", he said, "have their foundation in the relationship with God, a relationship which passes through the encounter with Jesus Christ. A relationship of profound trust and authentic friendship with Jesus is capable of giving young people what they need to face life well: serenity and inner light, the attitude of positive thinking, generosity of spirit towards others, and a readiness to be personally responsible for goodness, justice and truth".

  Finally the Holy Father noted how, in becoming believers, young people are "supported by the faith of the Church. If no man is an island", he said, "then this is especially true of Christians who discover in the Church the beauty of a faith shared and witnessed with others in fraternity and the service of charity".
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