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Saint Peter's Square
Palm Sunday, 9 April 2017



At the conclusion of this celebration, I cordially greet all of you present here, especially those who have participated in the international meeting in view of the synodal assembly on young people, promoted by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life in collaboration with the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops. This greeting is extended to all young people who today, gathered around their bishops, are celebrating World Youth Day in every diocese of the world. Begun by Saint John Paul ii, it is another leg of the great pilgrimage which last year brought us together in Kraków and that summons us to Panama in January 2019.

In this regard, in a few moments, the Polish young people will deliver the World Youth Day Cross to the youth from Panama, each accompanied by their respective pastors and by civil authorities.

Let us implore the Lord that wherever it passes, the Cross, united to the icon of Maria Salus Populi Romani, may increase faith and hope, revealing the invincible love of Christ.

To Christ, who today enters into the Passion, and to the Blessed Virgin, let us entrust the victims of the terrorist attack which occurred last Friday in Stockholm, as well as the many who remain severely exhausted by war, the disgrace of the world. And let us pray for the victims of the attacks unfortunately carried out today, this morning, in a Coptic Church. To my dear brother, His Holiness Pope Tawadros ii, to the Coptic Church, and to the entire dear Egyptian nation, I express my deepest condolences; I pray for the dead and the wounded, and am close to the families and to the entire community. May the Lord convert the hearts of people who sow terror, violence and death, and also the hearts of those who make and traffic weapons.


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