ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
Paul VI Audience Hall
Dear young University Students,
At the conclusion of this Marian Vigil, I address with great joy my greeting to you all, to those who are present here and to those participating by satellite link-up. I gratefully greet the Cardinals and Bishops, in particular those who have presided over the recitation of the Rosary in the linked locations: Aparecida in Brazil, Avignon in France, Bucharest in Romania, Mexico City in Mexico, Havana at Cuba, Loja in Ecuador, Minsk in Belarus, Naples in Italy, Toledo in Spain, and Washington in the United States of America. Five Sees in Europe and five in the Americas; in fact, this initiative has as its theme: "Europe and the Americas together to build a civilization of love". Precisely on this theme a convention has taken place in these day at the Gregorian University, to whose participants I address a cordial greeting.
It is an opportune choice to emphasize from time to time the relationship between Europe and another continent, in a prospective of hope. Two years ago it was Europe and Africa; last year Europe and Asia; this year Europe and America. Christianity has a strong and profound link with the so-called Old Continent and what has been called the "new world". It is enough to think of the fundamental place that Sacred Scripture and the Christian Liturgy have in the culture and art of the European and American Peoples. Unfortunately, however, the so-called "Western civilization" has also partially betrayed its Gospel inspiration. Therefore, an honest and sincere reflection, an examination of conscience, is necessary. What builds the "civilization of love" according to God's plan revealed in Jesus Christ and what instead is opposed to it, must be discerned.
I now address you, dear young people. Youth have always been, in European and American history, heralds impelled by the Gospel. We think of young people like St Benedict of Norcia, St Francis of Assisi and Bl. Karl Leisner in Europe; like St Martin de Porres, St Rose of Lima and Bl. Kateri Tekakwith in America. Young builders of the civilization of love! Today, God has called you, young Europeans and Americans, to cooperate together with your contemporaries of the entire world, so that the life-blood of the Gospel may renew the civilization of these two Continents and of humanity as a whole. The great European and American cities are becoming ever more cosmopolitan, but they often lack this nourishment that can make the differences become a reciprocal enrichment rather than a cause for division or conflict. The civilization of love is "co-existence", that is, respectful, peaceful and joyful co-existence of differences in the name of a common goal, which Bl. Pope John XXIII founded on the four pillars of love, truth, freedom and justice. Behold, dear friends, the charge I entrust to you today: be disciples and witnesses of the Gospel, so that the Gospel may be the good seed of God's Kingdom, the civilization of love! Be builders of peace and unity! A sign of this catholic unity, which is universal and integral in the contents of the Christian faith that joins us all, is also seen in the initiative to consign to each one of you the text of the Encyclical Spe Salvi on CD in five languages. May the Virgin Mary watch over you, your families and all your loved ones.
I would now like to greet in the various languages those who are joining us in the other cities through radio and television link-up.
Queridos jóvenes reunidos en las ciudades de México, La Habana, Loja, y Toledo, sed testimonios de la gran esperanza que Cristo ha traído al mundo. Que el Señor os bendiga y os acompañe en vuestros compromisos de estudio.
Dear University students of Washington DC, I send warm greetings to you! With the help of God, I will be in your city in April. With your assistance, may America remain faithful to its Christian roots and to its high ideals of freedom in truth and justice!
Chers amis réunis à Avignon, l’Europe a besoin de la jeunesse de l’esprit dont vous êtes porteurs et que vous, jeunes chrétiens, pouvez lui donner, en vous efforçant de vivre vraiment l’Évangile. Cela constituera pour tous un témoignage. C’est ce que je vous souhaite de tout cœur.
Amados jovens, reunidos em Aparecida: ainda está viva no meu coração a lembrança da Viagem Pastoral que realizei no Brasil, especialmente no Santuário de Nossa Senhora da Conceição Aparecida. Peço à Virgem Mãe que obtenha para todos vocês a graça de ser sempre testemunhas de esperança!
Дарагія студэнты мінскіх унівэрсытэта. Сардэчна вас вітаю. Даручаю вашаму роздуму Энцыкліку аб надзеі і заахвочваю вас будаваць цывілізацыю любові. У жыцьці прыймайце правільныя рашэньні ды дзеяньні поныя веры і эвангэльскае адвагі.
Iubiţi prieteni reuniţi la Bucureşti, Domnul să vă binecuvânteze! Pentru a răspândi civilizaţia iubirii, creştinii trebuie să fie uniţi în spirit ecumenic. Daţi voi înşivă un exemplu constant de sinceră colaborare între toţi ucenicii lui Isus.
The Pope concluded in Italian:
I thank Cardinal Ruini and Mons. Leuzzi and those who have collaborated in organizing this meeting. I cordially thank the choir and orchestra who have sustained our prayer, as well as the Vatican Television Centre, Vatican Radio and Telespazio for the connections. To you, dear young people, I wish serene and fruitful work and a happy Easter, and to all I warmly impart the Apostolic Blessing.
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