Vatican City, 9 June 2013 (VIS) – Yesterday at 8:30pm, the Holy Father called Bishop Giancarlo Vecerrica of Fabriano-Matelica, who was together with thousands of youth in the Helvia Recina Stadium before the Mass celebrated by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., to initiate the 35th pilgrimage on foot from Macerata to Loreto. This year the theme of the pilgrimage is “What can truly satisfy human desire?” and it is promoted by the Communion and Liberation movement.
Pope Francis addressed the youth, from Italy and around the world, who were about to walk the 28 kilometres (over 17 miles) praying the Rosary and singing together. “All of life is a pilgrimage,” said the Pope. “What is important is meeting Jesus on the path of life. … Let yourselves be guided by Jesus. … So many times, even for us, faith is an obvious presupposition of living. We say 'I believe in God'—and that's good—but, how do you live this on the path of life? Faith must become a present experience.”
“When we encounter the Lord,” the Holy Father continued, “He surprises us. The Lord can be called the Lord of surprises. Be open to God's surprises. For you too, this evening's event, which grows every year, is a surprise. It is the sign that nothing is impossible with God. How else could you explain that from the 300 of you in 1978 you would have become the 90,000 of last year?”
“When you get tired,” Francis added, “and the temptation to go your own way arises, think of this: repeat your 'yes', pray that each one of you might recognize in your body and your spirit the very humanity that needs Christ's humanity, the only one that can truly satisfy human desire.”
The Holy Father bid them farewell, reminding the youth to continue forward with hope. “Please,” he said, “don't let yourselves be robbed of hope. It is the Lord who gives it to you.”