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Sunday, September 21, 2014

To the young: yes to acceptance and solidarity

Vatican City, 21 September 2014 (VIS) – Before the end of this Sunday's liturgy, Francis greeted those present from Albania and other neighbouring countries to thank them for their presence and for their witness of faith, and addressed the young in particular. “They say that Albania is the youngest country in Europe”, he commented, smiling, and invited them to “confirm [their] existence in Jesus Christ”.

“He who builds on Christ builds on rock, because He is always faithful, even if we sometimes lack faith”, continued the Holy Father. “Jesus knows us better than anyone else; when we sin, He does not condemn us but rather says to us, 'Go and sin no more'. Dear young people, you are the new generation of Albania, the future of your homeland. With the power of the Gospel and the example of your antecedents and the martyrs, know how to say 'No' to the idolatry of money, 'No' to the false freedom of individualism, 'No' to addiction and to violence; say 'Yes' to a culture of encounter and of solidarity, 'Yes' to the beauty that is inseparable from the good and the true; 'Yes' to a life lived with great enthusiasm and at the same time faithful in little things. In this way, you will build a better Albania and a better world”.

Before the Angelus prayer, the Pope invoked the Virgin Mary, venerated in Albania above all as “Our Lady of Good Counsel”. “I stand before her, spiritually, at her Shrine in Scutari, so dear to you, and to her I entrust the entire Church in Albania and all the people of this country, especially families, children and the elderly, who are the living memory of the people. May Our Lady guide you to walk together with God towards the hope that never disappoints”.

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