JOHN PAUL II
Sunday, 3 August 1997
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. I address a cordial greeting to all of you gathered here for the Sunday prayer of the Angelus. In particular, I greet and thank the pilgrims who have come to visit me. I hope that their stay in Rome will be an opportunity to renew their faith in Christ and to acquire a deeper knowledge of the history and life of the Church.
We are preparing for World Youth Day and, on these Sundays, I think with special affection of the young people of the whole world who will take part in the extraordinary meeting scheduled to take place in Paris from 18 to 24 August.
2. Dear young people, I am expecting you in Paris, where it will give me great joy to meet you and share with you in prayer and in reflection our common faith in Christ, source of immortal life. From every corner of the world the Church sees advancing a new generation thirsting for truth, freedom and happiness: dear young people, you long for an interior life and dialogue with Christ. You seek authentic teachers and witnesses to show you the way of truth and love. You sometimes ask yourselves: "Who will teach us to pray? Who will introduce us into the life-giving mystery of the Good News?". Look at all those who have gone before you on the arduous and exciting path of faith and holiness. They will help you share that same witness to faith which has marked their life.
To strive for holiness, to follow Jesus on the demanding way of the Gospel, is a fundamental aspect of every Christian life — as you well know. What is holiness if not entering into a deep relationship with God, Trinity of love, and growing in intimacy with Christ, Son of God incarnate? And does not true self-discipline contribute to strengthening the person's interior being as well as his integral growth?
3. Dear young people, Christ repeats to each one of you: "Get up and walk!". He counts on you, he awaits each one of you. He invites you to become aware of your dignity as persons for whom he shed his blood. He comes to meet you on the path of life; he forgives you and makes you a gift of his joy and his peace.
On this journey of deepening your understanding of the Gospel and of encounter with Christ, the Mother of the Incarnate Word is beside you. Contemplate Mary! Like her, may you be able to say "yes" to the Lord’s call. Ask her to guide you in your daily choices, so that you can fulfil your vocation and live to the full in the freedom of God’s children.
After praying the Angelus, the Holy Father greeted the faithful in various languages. To the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors he said:
I am pleased to greet the English-speaking visitors who have joined us for this Angelus prayer. During these summer holidays may almighty God bless you and your families with joy and peace.
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