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Monday, September 23, 2013


Vatican City, 22 September 2013 (VIS) – The final encounter in Pope Francis' pastoral visit to Cagliari was with the young who, at 5 p.m., awaited him in Largo Carlo Felice, where in the morning he had met with representatives from the world of work.

Francis commented on the Gospel reading which related the story of the miraculous fish, inviting those present not to “let yourselves be overwhelmed by pessimism and distrust … when a young person is distrustful towards life, when a young person loses hope … these merchants of death … offer a route for when you are sad, without hope without trust, without courage. Please, do not sell your youth to those who sell death! You know what I am talking about”.

Trust in Jesus”, he continued, “and when I say this, I want to be sincere and say to you: I do not come here to sell you an illusion. I come here to say: there is a Person who can carry you through: trust in Him! He is Jesus, and Jesus is not an illusion! Difficulties must not frighten you, but rather press you to overcome them. Put out to sea and cast your nets wide … with Jesus everything changes. The Word of the Lord has filled the nets, and the Word of the Lord gives effect to the missionary work of the disciples. Following Jesus is demanding, it means not being content with small objectives, with navigating close to the coast, but rather aiming high, with courage. … When it seems that all is still and stagnant, when personal problems disturb us, social unease does not find the necessary solutions, we must not give up. The path is Jesus: let him embark with us and let us set out to sea with Him! Everything changes with Jesus. … Without making too many human calculations and without worrying if the reality around you corresponds to that about which you are sure. Set out to sea, come out of yourselves; let us come out from our little world and open ourselves to God, so that we might be ever more open to our brothers”.

Since on 21 September the Pope celebrates sixty years since he was given his priestly vocation, at the age of seventeen, Francis affirmed that he has never regretted his decision because “even in the darkest moments, in moments of sin, in moments of frailty, in moments of failure, he always looked to Jesus, Who never abandoned him”.

Before concluding the meeting with his final blessing, the Pope mentioned the suicide attack outside a church in Peshawar, Pakistan at midday today. “There are mistaken choices, choices of destruction. Today, in Pakistan, because of a wrong decision, a choice of hatred, of war, there was an attack in which over 70 people died. This choice cannot stand. It serves nothing. Only the path of peace can build a better world. But if you do not do it yourselves, no-one else will! This is the problem, and this is the question I leave you with. 'Am I willing, am I willing to take the route to building a better world?' Let us pray an Our Father for all those who lost their lives in this attack in Pakistan. … And may the Virgin always help us to work for a better world, to take the path of construction, the path of peace, and never the route of destruction and war".

Following the meeting the Pope departed by air from Cagliari, arriving in Rome at 8 p.m. and returning to the Vatican shortly after.

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