ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II
TO A GROUP OF SALESIAN STUDENTS
Saturday, 5 May 1979
Beloved Young People,
1. My fatherly and joyful welcome to you, dear boys and girls, who attend the organizations of the Salesians and of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, gathered here to meet and listen to the Pope, representing also all the children and young people who belong to the religious associations, schools, vocational centres, cultural, recreational and social groups, inspired and directed by the Sons of Don Bosco.
To all of you present here, to all your friends and companions, to all Salesian youth, who for over a century have been continuing their ardent and courageous march along the paths of the world, goes my affectionate greeting, charged with emotion and hopes: you are the hope, the expectation of a more just, more dignified, and more peaceful future. The Pope regards you with intensely promising feelings and good wishes which, through you, are extended to the whole of mankind. I thank you for this grand manifestation of affection and, in return for such irrepressible enthusiasm, address to you just one greeting: Long live Salesian youth!
Faithful to the spirit of Don Bosco, a great saint and outstanding educator, you wish to pay homage to the Successor of Peter, confirming to him the faithfulness of your love and your service, on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the canonization of Domenico Savio, a boy of the Oratory of Valdocco, the favourite pupil and precious fruit of the work of formation of Mamma Margherita's son.
You are engaged, throughout this year, in a broad series of initiatives, both in the various local centres and on the national scale, to give new and vigorous impetus to youth associations of Christian inspiration and to widen the educational system of Don Bosco, applying its basic criteria, its key-principles, to the requirements of modern times.
You expect from the Pope a word of guidance and encouragement for this renewed youth action in Italy and I am here with you, in the first place, to invoke the wisdom of the Spirit of the Lord on this important initiative, which is so dear to the Church and to her Pastors.
2. The first indication I wish to offer you is an invitation to
optimism, hope, and trust. It is
Dear young people, we belong to him, to Christ, and it is he who is victorious
in us. We must
The most subtle temptation that today afflicts Christians, and the young in
In this connection, I recall to you the words addressed to the young by the
Council Fathers at
Without certain hope in Christ's victory in you and in the world that surrounds
3. The Pope's second suggestion for you and for all those in charge of
your human and
It is not a question of creating militant expressions deprived of ideal impetus and based on the force of numbers, but of animating real communities, instilled with the spirit of kindness, mutual respect, and service, and above all made compact by the same faith and by one unique hope. The present generation of the young, even when they avail themselves of the comforts offered by the consumer civilization, feel that such prodigality conceals an illusory fascination, and that they cannot stop at the hedonistic experience of materialistic opulence.
You are, therefore, in continual quest—to live it is already to respond to the
You young people aim at the precious goal of community implementation. of
4. Where will you find the strength, dear young people and friends, to
Jesus is the Messiah of every age, also of this promising eve of the twenty-first century. He is the Man of hope, the Man who is the cornerstone of humanity. He is the One who reveals and accomplishes in us the divine prophecies of personal and social liberation. He is the Liberator, the Man-God of our salvation. Your youthful commitment of life, in all its expressions, in study and in work, in family and in society, must lead you to recognize inwardly and proclaim that Jesus is he who establishes the value, the joy and the hope of every man. Have the intelligence and the courage—the Church and the Pope ask it of you—to make your lives an acclamation and testimony to Christ our salvation.
A word about Mary, the Mother of Jesus and Mother of the Church, to whose loving
Dear young people, the revival, in the present time, of true Christian values
5. And I conclude these words of mine with an invitation to Christian
fortitude, a virtue
Optimism, union, fortitude: that is my wish for you. Once more, I am grateful
for your visit,
Extending my greeting to all those who have accompanied you here, and especially
© Copyright 1979 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana