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Saturday, July 27, 2013


Vatican City, 27 June 2013 (VIS) – On Friday morning the Pope went to the park “Quinta da Boa Vista”, nineteen kilometres from the Sumare residence. The park previously belonged to the Society of Jesus, and is now a municipal park containing the Zoological Garden and National Museum, the first scientific institution in the country and considered to be the finest Museum of natural history and anthropology in Latin America. Throughout the park numerous confessionals have been installed to allow the sacrament of confession to be imparted to the young participants in World Youth Day. One was selected for the Pope to personally hear the confession of five young people in Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. Afterwards, he proceeded by car to the meet with the archbishop of Rio in his residence, a building constructed in 1918 as the official residence of the first cardinal archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, Joaquim Arcoverde Cavalcanti de Albuquerque. The work of the architect Morales de los Rios, it is characterised by its eclectic style with architectural references to many historical monuments. During the military dictatorship, the then Cardinal Archbishop Eugenio Sales offered asylum to the regime's opponents within the Palace.

At 11.30 a.m. the Pope met briefly with eight young detainees, six boys and two girls, who gave the Pope a giant Rosary made of polystyrene. The Cross bore the words “Calendaria nunca mais” - “Calendaria: never again”, referring to the tragic event of 22 July 1993, when a group of armed men assassinated a group of children and young men at the door of the Church of the Calendaria in Rio de Janeiro. The names of the many young people killed on that day were written on the beads of the Rosary. The Pope prayed with the young people for all those who have died in violent circumstances and repeated the message “Violencia nunca mais! No more violence, only love!”

Immediately afterwards, the Pope moved on to the Chapel to greet the Religious of the Residence. From the central balcony of the Palace, the Pope prayed the Angelus with the faithful gathered in the square below and in the adjacent streets.

I would be happy if my visit to this city were to renew, in each one of you, your love for Christ and his Church and your joy in being one with him, belonging to the Church and being committed to offering a living witness to the faith”, the Pope began.

He went on to explain the three moments in which the simple prayer of the Angelus prayer is recited, and emphasised that “it reminds us of a luminous event which transformed history: the Incarnation, the moment when the Son of God became man in Jesus of Nazareth”.

He spoke about Saints Joachim and Anne, the parents of the Virgin Mary, and commented that Mary grew up in a home in which love for God was transmitted, expressed in the warmth and love of family life. “How precious is the family as the privileged place for transmitting the faith!” he exclaimed, recalling that in many countries, as the Church celebrates Saints Joachim and Anne, grandparents' day is also celebrated. “How important grandparents are for family life, for passing on the human and religious heritage which is so essential for each and every society! How important it is to have intergenerational exchanges and dialogue, especially within the context of the family”.

The Pope mentioned that the Aparecida Document states that children and the elderly build the future of peoples: “children because they lead history forward, the elderly because they transmit the experience and wisdom of their lives. This relationship and this dialogue between generations is a treasure to be preserved and strengthened!”.

After the Angelus, the Pope proceeded to the Salon Redondo on the first floor of the Palace to meet with Archbishop Tempesta and twelve young people of different nationalities, representing each continent. After lunch, the Holy Father returned to the Sumare residence to rest before the beginning of the Via Crucis.


Vatican City, 27 June 2013 (VIS) – Pope Francis arrived at 5.20 p.m. local time at the beachfront at Copacabana where he greeted the young people awaiting him from the Popemobile. The Holy Father asked thirty-five unemployed Argentine “cartoneros” to join him on the stage, and greeted them warmly. These men and women had regular jobs prior to the 2001 economic crisis, but are now forced to live in the “villas miserias”, Argentine favelas. In Argentina there are around 100 thousand cartoneros who live by rummaging through refuse in search of paper, metal and food.

At 6 p.m. the Via Crucis began. It had fourteen stations, thirteen of which were located in the 900 metres of Viale Atlantico, the beachfront promenade at Copacabana, and the last is represented on the stage from which the Pope viewed the entire procession. The celebration lasted around an hour and a quarter, in which artists and volunteers participated. The texts of the meditations were prepared by the Dehonian priests Fr. Zezinho and Fr. Joaozinho, well-known for their work with young people.

At the end of the Via Crucis, Francis commented that the Way of the Cross was “one of the most intense moments of World Youth Day” and that since 1984 the Cross had “travelled to every continent and through a variety of human situations. It is … almost “steeped” in the life experiences of the countless young people who have seen it and carried it”. At the end of the Year of Redemption, Blessed John Paul II entrusted the Cross to the young, asking them to “carry it through the world as a symbol of Christ's love for humanity, and announce to everyone that only in the death and resurrection of Christ can we find salvation and redemption”.

No one can approach and touch the Cross of Jesus without leaving something of himself or herself there, and without bringing something of the Cross of Jesus into his or her own life. I have three questions that I hope will echo in your hearts this evening as you walk beside Jesus: What have you left on the Cross, dear young people of Brazil, during these two years that it has been crisscrossing your great country? What has the Cross of Jesus left for you, in each one of you? Finally, what does this Cross teach us?”

The Pope remarked that St. Peter, while leaving Rome to flee persecution, saw Jesus travelling in the opposite direction, towards the city, and “at that moment he understood that he had to follow the Lord with courage, to the very end. But he also realized that he would never be alone on the journey; Jesus, Who had loved him even unto death, would always be with him. Jesus, with His Cross, walks with us and takes upon Himself our fears, our problems, and our sufferings, even those which are deepest and most painful. With the Cross, Jesus unites Himself to the silence of the victims of violence, those who can no longer cry out, especially the innocent and the defenceless; with the Cross, He is united to families in trouble, and those who mourn the tragic loss of their children, as in the case of the 242 young victims of the fire in the city of Santa Maria at the beginning of this year. Let us pray for them. On the Cross, Jesus is united with every person who suffers from hunger in a world where on the other side we permit ourselves the luxury of throwing away tons of food each day; on the Cross, Jesus is united with the many mothers and fathers who suffer, seeing their children become victims of the artificial paradise offered by drugs; on the Cross, Jesus is united with those who are persecuted for their religion, for their beliefs or simply for the colour of their skin; on the Cross, Jesus is united with so many young people who have lost faith in political institutions, because they see in them only selfishness and corruption; he unites himself with those young people who have lost faith in the Church, or even in God because of the counter-witness of Christians and ministers of the Gospel. How Jesus suffers for our incoherence! The Cross of Christ bears the suffering and the sin of mankind, including our own. Jesus accepts all this with open arms, bearing on His shoulders our crosses and saying to us: “Have courage! You do not carry your cross alone! I carry it with you. I have overcome death and I have come to give you hope, to give you life”.

The Holy Father then considered the second question: “What has the Cross given to those who have gazed upon it or touched it? What has it left in each one of us? It gives us a treasure that no one else can give: the certainty of the unshakable love which God has for us. A love so great that it enters into our sin and forgives it, enters into our suffering and gives us the strength to bear it. It is a love which enters into death to conquer it and to save us. The Cross of Christ contains all the love of God, it is His immeasurable mercy. This is a love in which we can place all our trust, in which we can believe. Dear young people”, he continued, “let us entrust ourselves to Jesus, let us give ourselves over to Him, because He never disappoints! … With Him, evil, suffering, and death do not have the last word, because He gives us hope and life: He has transformed the Cross from an instrument of hate, defeat and death into a sign of love, victory, triumph and life”.

Pope Francis continued, “How many people were with Jesus on the way to Calvary: Pilate, Simon of Cyrene, Mary, the women… Today I ask you: which of these people do you want to be like? Do you want to be like Pilate, who did not have the courage to go against the tide to save Jesus’ life, and instead washed his hands. Tell me: are you one of those ewho wash their hands, who play dumb and turn away? Or are you like Simon of Cyrene, who helped Jesus to carry that heavy wood, like Mary and the other women, who were not afraid to accompany Jesus all the way to the end, with love and tenderness. And you? Which of these do you want to be like? Like Pilate? Like Simon? Like Mary?” Jesus is watching you now and He says: do you want to help me carry the Cross? Brothers and sisters, with your youthful strength, how will you answer Him?”

The Pope concluded by asking the young to bring their joys, their sufferings and their failures to Christ's Cross, as “there we will find a Heart that is open to us and understands us, forgives us, loves us and calls us to bear this love in our lives, to love each person, each brother and sister, with the same love.”


Vatican City, 27 June 2013 (VIS) – A letter from the Pope was published today, in Latin, in which he appoints Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, as his special envoy to the celebration of the baptism of Samogizia (western region of Lithuania), due to be held in concomitance with the Eucharistic Congress of Telsiai, from 2 to 4 August 2013.

The mission accompanying the cardinal will be made up of Rev. Darius Trijonis, assistant general secretary to the Lithuanian Bishops' Conference, and Msgr. Viktoras Acas, rector of the diocesan seminary of Telsiai.


Vatican City, 27 June 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father:

- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Saitama, Japan, presented by Bishop Marcellino Daiji Tani, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. The Holy Father has appointed Archbishop Peter Takeo Okada of Tokyo, Japan, as apostolic adminstrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of the same diocese.

- accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, presented by Bishop Joseph Lafontant, upon having reached the age limit.

- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the Military Ordinariate of Peru, presented by Bishop Guillermo Martin Abanto Guzman, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
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