POPE BLESSES YOUNG PEOPLE ON 20TH WORLD YOUTH DAY
VATICAN CITY, MAR 20, 2005 (VIS) - At the end of Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square, presided over by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar for the diocese of Rome, Pope John Paul appeared at the window of his study overlooking the square and, to the enthusiastic cheers of the estimated 50,000 faithful gathered there, including many young people for World Youth Day, he blessed the crowd with an olive branch. The Pope did not speak, and Archbishop Leonardo Sandri read the reflections that preceded the Angelus prayer.
"Twenty years ago," said the papal message, "right here in St. Peter's Square, World Youth Days began. Thus, today I am addressing young people in a special way. You, dear ones, gathered here in the square, and the youth throughout the world.
"My dear young people! This coming August World Youth Day will take place in Cologne, in the heart of Germany and of Europe. In the stupendous cathedral of that city the relics of the Three Magi are venerated and they have become in a certain sense your guides towards that appointment. They came from the East to pay homage to Jesus and they said: 'We have come to adore Him'. These words, so rich in meaning, constitute the theme of your spiritual and catechetical itinerary towards World Youth Day.
"Today, you adore the Cross of Christ that you carry throughout the world, because you believed in God's Love, fully revealed in the crucified Christ."
Asking young people to be tireless "witnesses to the glorious Cross of
Christ," the Holy Father's reflections concluded: "I become more and more
aware how providential and prophetic it is that this day, Palm Sunday and the
Passion of the Lord, has become your day. This feast contains a special grace,
that of joy united to the Cross which epitomizes the Christian mystery."
ANG/PALM SUNDAY:WORLD YOUTH DAY/...VIS 050321 (320)