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Monday, September 12, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 11 SEP 2011 (VIS) - Following his meeting with priests and families in the cathedral of Ancona, Benedict XVI travelled by car to the city's Piazza del Plebiscito where he addressed a group of young engaged couples gathered there to greet him.

"In some ways ours is not an easy time, especially for you young people", the Pope told them. "The table is full of delicacies but, like the Gospel narrative of the wedding feast of Cana, the wine seems to have run out. In particular, the difficulty in finding stable work extends a veil of uncertainty over the future. This means that definitive decisions are delayed, and has a negative effect on the development of society which is unable to take full advantage of the energies, competence and creativity of your generation".

"The wine is also lacking at the feast for a culture which tends to ignore clear moral criteria. In their disorientation, people tend to move individually and autonomously, often only on the perimeter of reality. ... Thus, even fundamental decisions become uncertain and remain perennially revocable".

"Never lose hope", the Pope told the young people. "Keep your courage, even in moments of difficulty, remain firm in the faith. ... Nothing can separate us from the love of God. You may be certain that the Church ... does not cease to look to you with great trust. She knows that you thirst for values, for true values upon which it is worth building your home: the values of faith, of the individual, of the family, of human relations, of justice. Do not lose heart before the shortcomings that seem to rob the feast of life of its joy".

"You are experiencing a unique moment which opens you to the wonder of meeting another person, which helps you discover the beauty of existing as a precious part of another person's life. ... Follow this journey gradually, intensely and truthfully. ... Most of all, I would like to tell you to avoid falsely reassuring relationships of intimacy. Ensure, rather, that your relationship acts as a leaven for active and responsible presence in the community".

"All human love is a sign of the eternal Love which created us, the grace of which sanctifies the choice of a man and a woman to dedicate themselves to married life. Experience this time of engagement in trusting expectation of that gift, which must be accepted by following a path of understanding, respect and attention for one another which you must never lose. ... Prepare yourselves to make that 'eternal' choice which characterises love. Indissolubility, rather than being an imposition, is a gift we should want, seek and experience, over and above the changing conditions of human life. ... Ongoing faithfulness and love for one another will also make you capable of being open to life, of being parents. ... Fidelity, indissolubility and the transmission of life are the pillars for each family, an authentic common good and a precious heritage for the whole of society".

The Holy Father concluded by highlighting how "part of the experience of love is striving towards God. True love promises the infinite! Make this period of preparation for marriage an itinerary of faith: rediscover the centrality of Jesus Christ and of ... the Church in your life as a couple".

At the end of the meeting the Holy Father travelled to the port of Ancona where, at 6.45 p.m. he boarded a helicopter for his return flight to Castelgandolfo.
PV-ANCONA/ VIS 20110912 (590)

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