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John Paul II, We Love You
A Prayer for Young People, by Pope John Paul II
World Youth Day 2002
"John Paul II, we love you!!"
I heard those words again and again when the World Youth Day Saturday night audience spontaneously erupted in cheers as they told our "papa," (the word for "Pope" in Italian is "il papa") Pope John Paul II, how they felt about him. Just watching it on TV made me tear! Our Holy Father is so beautiful, so like Jesus. And he is so in love with young people! I remember what it was like to be chanting that myself when I went to World Youth Day 1993 in Denver, Colorado. Maybe some of you were there this year!
I think one of the most inspiring things about our Holy Father is how much he believes in young people. He uplifts our dignity, praises our boundless energy, acknowledges our potential, dissuades our fear, and makes us feel like we are needed, precious children of God. While the world around us pressures us into compromise, "papa" challenges us to become holy:
"This evening the Pope, along with all of you, young people from every continent, reaffirms before the world the faith that sustains the life of the Church. Christ is the light of the nations. Precisely for this reason I say to you this evening: let the light of Christ shine in your lives! Do no wait until you are older in order to set out on the path of holiness! ... Communicate to everyone the beauty of the contact with God that gives meaning to your lives. In the quest for justice, in the promotion of peace, in your commitment to brotherhood and solidarity, let no one surpass you!"
"Young people listening to me, answer the Lord with strong and generous hearts! He is counting on you. Never forget: Christ needs you to carry out his plan of salvation! Christ needs your youth and your generous enthusiasm to make his proclamation of joy resound in the new millennium. Answer his call by placing your lives at his service!"
So, let us embrace the loving and deeply respectful call of our Holy Father, the vicar of Christ on earth, to become young saints -- to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world!
Until next month, I remain...
Your Eucharist loving, Blessed Mother petitioning, rockin' Catholic Church obeying, Pope John Paul II devotee and fellow sinner in need of God's grace and mercy,
Youth Apostles Online
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"O Lord Jesus Christ, keep these young people in your love. Let them hear your voice and believe what you say, for you alone have the words of life.
Teach them how to profess their faith, bestow their love, and impart their hope to others. Make them convincing witnesses to your Gospel in a world so much in need of your saving grace.
Make them the new people of the Beatitudes, that they may be the salt of the earth and the light of the world at the beginning of the Third Christian Millennium!
Mary, Mother of the Church, protect and guide these young men and women of the twenty-first century. Keep us all close to your maternal heart. Amen."
- Pope John Paul II, during his homily on Sunday, July 28, 2002
Hundreds of thousands of young people from all over the world recently flooded Toronto, Ontario for World Youth Day, a way cool week featuring our beloved Holy Father, Pope John Paul II. Whether you had the opportunity to experience this incredible event or not, we think you'll enjoy these articles:
Young People: Respond to Christ With a Strong and Generous Heart
Let the Light of Christ Shine in Your Lives
Young People: The Pope Identifies With Your Hopes
Pope Rallies Youth as Toronto Celebration Ends