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(AUGUST 8-16, 1993)



Thursday, 12 August 1993


Dear young people,
Pilgrims on the path of life,
Dear young people, I greet you in the name of Jesus Christ. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

1. The Spirit of God has brought us to this "Eighth World Youth Day". On eight successive occasions young people from all parts of the world have heard the call of the Church and have travelled in order to be together – to be together with their Bishops and the Pope: fellow travelers on the path of life in search of Christ. It is he, Jesus Christ, the true Life who gives hope and purpose to our earthly existence, opens our minds and hearts to the goodness and beauty of the world around us, to solidarity and friendship with our fellow human beings, to intimate communion with God himself, in a love that goes beyond all limits of time and space, to eternal unassailable happiness.

This "World Youth Day" has brought us to Denver, a stupendous setting in the heart of the United States of America.

You know we are in Denver: Denver, Colorado. And you know this gentleman here is the Archbishop of Denver. He is our host. With him I greet each one of you: "A great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues". I greet your Bishops, your priests, your spiritual guides, your families. I thank you for being here. I thank everyone: Archbishop Stafford of Denver and his fellow–workers; Archbishop Keeler, the President of the Bishops’ Conference, and all the Bishops; the Bishops’ Commission for the organization of this "World Youth Day"; Cardinal Pironio and the Pontifical Council for the Laity; the civil authorities; the people of Denver and Colorado who are our gracious hosts; the volunteers who are making sure that everything runs smoothly – I thank you all for your kindness, your hospitality and your good will.

Most of you are members of the Catholic Church; but others are from other Christian Churches and Communities, and I greet each one with sincere friendship. In spite of divisions among Christians, "all those justified by faith through baptism are incorporated into Christ... brothers and sisters in the Lord". Every meeting between young Catholics and other young Christians must be one of discovering together ever more fully the riches of the Gospel message of life and love.

I greet all of you have come from every corner of the United States, from every Diocese of this vast country. Among you there is one group which I wish to mention with particular esteem: the Native American peoples. Thank you for bringing the richness and color of your special heritage to the "World Youth Day". May Christ truly be the way, the truth and the life of your peoples!

The great majority of you are from the United States. Many are from the other two countries of North America:

– from Canada;
– y tantos de México.

Some of you are from the Caribbean, Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti, Puerto Rico, República Dominicana, Virgin Islands. Otros vienen de América Central, especialmente Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panamá.

Y de todos los países de América del Sur: Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Perú, Uruguay, Venezuela.

Many of you are from countries in Africa: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burundi, Capo Verde Islands, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

From the countries of Asia: Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam.

Young people are also from Oceania and the Pacific islands: Australia, New Zealand, Guam, Solomon Islands, Western Samoa.

And from the Middle East: Israel, Jordan, Lebanon.

And from Europe: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia–Herzegovina, Bohemia (Czech Republic.), Slovak Republic, Denmark, England, Scotland and Wales, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Italia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Norway, Polska, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia–Montenegro, España, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine.

May Jesus Christ, the Lord of history and the light of nations grant his peace to every one of you from east and west, from north and south, and to all the peoples you represent. God bless the young people of World Youth Day.

Voglio salutare insieme con i giovani i fratelli vescovi e sacerdoti che accompagnano i diversi gruppi dei diversi paesi e che si sentono anche loro giovani e vengono qui con i giovani per ringiovanire, per sentirsi giovani, e questo si riferisce anche al Papa.

2. At this point I wish to greet some of the groups present.

In Spanish:

Con todo mi afecto saludo a los numerosos jóvenes de lengua española aquí presentes, procedentes de tantas ciudades de esta Nación, así como de la mayor parte de los países de América Latina y de España. Que esta Jornada, vinculada en la cercanía a la celebración del V Centenario de la llegada del Evangelio al Nuevo Mundo, sea una ocasión propicia para estrechar los lazos de fraternidad y esperanza entre los jóvenes de las Américas y de todos los continentes, y para reavivar la conciencia de vuestra misión como creyentes: dar testimonio con valentía de la Vida Nueva que Cristo nos ha dado para la salvación del mundo.

In French:

Jeunes de langue française, je souhaite que ce pèlerinage accompli dans la foi vous affermisse dans votre résolution d’être, de manière toujours plus ardente, des apôtres du monde des jeunes. Je salue ceux d’entre vous qui viennent de France, du Canada, ainsi que des autres nations francophones. J’adresse un mot d’encouragement tout particulier aux jeunes originaires d’Haïti et je prie pour la paix et le développement harmonieux de leur pays.

In Italian:

Ai giovani venuti dall’Italia: grazie per aver risposto cosí numerosi all’invito di venire a Denver. So che vi siete preparati spiritualmente in modo molto serio a questo pellegrinaggio, e confido che potrete raccogliere abbondanti frutti per la vostra vita e testimonianza cristiana.

In German:

Herzlich begrübe ich Euch, liebe deutschsprachige junge Menschen, die Ihr gekommen seid, um Zeugnis abzulegen von Eurem Glauben an Jesus Christus, der uns das Leben in Fülle schenkt. Mögen diese Tage des Gebetes und der Besinnung, der Begegnung und des fröhlichen Zusammenseins mit den Jugendlichen aus aller Welt Euch im Dienst an der Kirche und an der Welt bestärken.

In Portuguese:

Queridos Amigos de Portugal, Brasil, Angola, Moçambique e São Tomé e Príncipe, Jesus Cristo é a esperança do mundo. Oxalá possais descobrir cada vez mais profundamente a Sua amizade e intimidade ao longo destes dias, em Denver.

In Polish:

Pozdrawiam serdecznie młodzież przybyłą z Polski wraz ze swymi duszpasterzami, a także polonijną z Ameryki i z innych krajów.

Po niezapomnianych przeżyciach Światowego Spotkania Młodych w Sanktuarium Jasnogórskim w Częstochowie w roku 1991, którego gospodarzem była młodzież polska, znajdujemy się dzisiaj w Denver, w Stanach Zjednoczonych. Jest to kolejny etap pielgrzymki młodych szlakiem nowej ewangelizacji.

Młodzi Rodacy, niech świadectwo wiary tysięcy chłopców i dziewcząt przybyłych tu z całego świata pomoże Wam odkryć na nowo Chrystusa jako źródło życia. On – ukrzyżowany i zmartwychwstały – jest Drogą, Prawdą i życiem. On jest drogą do pełni życia.

3. We have come to Denver as pilgrims. We are continuing the journey made by millions of young people in the previous World Youth Days: to Rome, to Buenos Aires, to Santiago de Compostela, to Częstochowa.

Pilgrims set out for a destination. In our case it is not so much a place or a shrine that we seek to honor. Ours is a pilgrimage to a modern city, a symbolic destination: the "metropolis" is the place which determines the life–style and the history of a large part of the human family at the end of the twentieth century. This modern city of Denver is set in the beautiful natural surroundings of the Rocky Mountains, as if to put the work of human hands in relationship with the work of the Creator. We are therefore searching for the reflection of God not only in the beauty of nature but also in humanity’s achievements and in each individual person. On this pilgrimage our steps are guided by the words of Jesus Christ: "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly".

My purpose in this first meeting with you is to invite you to enter into the depths of your hearts, and to live the next few days as a real encounter with Jesus Christ.

Of course we are here to listen to one another: I to you, and you to the Pope. But above all we are in Denver to hear the one true Word of Life – the Eternal Word who was in the beginning with God; through whom all things were made, and without whom nothing was made that was made.

Young people of America and of the world, listen to what Christ the Redeemer is saying to you! "To all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God". The "World Youth Day" challenges you to be fully conscious of who you are as God’s dearly beloved sons and daughters.

4. Vuestra peregrinación por la ciudad de Denver os llevará a meditar sobre la promesa de vida en abundancia de Cristo, en las diferentes etapas a lo largo del camino.

En la iglesia de Santa Isabel la cruz del Año Santo os recordará dónde buscar la vida verdadera que Jesús da. Jesús dice: "El que no toma su cruz y me sigue detrás no es digno de mí". Os dice eso no porque no os ame suficientemente, sino porque os está conduciendo al descubrimiento de la vida y el amor auténticos. La vida que Jesús da sólo puede experimentarse mediante el amor que es entrega de sí, y ese amor implica siempre alguna forma de sacrificio: " Si el grano de trigo no cae en tierra y muere, queda él solo; pero si muere, da mucho fruto ". Eso es lo que la cruz nos enseña.

À l’église du Saint–Esprit, votre pèlerinage vous conduira jusqu’au Christ présent dans la sainte Eucharistie. En priant devant le Saint–Sacrement exposé, vous pourrez lui ouvrir vos cœurs, mais vous devrez écouter spécialement ce qu’il veut dire à chacun d’entre vous. Les mots préférés du Christ aux jeunes sont les suivants: "N’aie pas peur". et "Viens, suis–moi". Qui sait ce que le Seigneur vous demandera, jeunes d’Amérique, jeunes gens, jeunes filles d’Europe, d’Afrique, d’Asie, d’Océanie?

Presso la cattedrale dell’Immacolata Concezione il vostro pellegrinaggio vi condurrà all’icona di Nostra Signora del Nuovo Avvento. Maria, la Madre del Redentore, fu la prima e la migliore discepola del Figlio suo. Ella sarà presente ad ogni stadio del nostro pellegrinaggio. È la guida migliore che possiamo avere, poiché ci conduce a Cristo dicendoci: "Fate (tutto) quello che vi dirà".

5. Tomorrow, Friday, is meant to be a day of solidarity and penance. As a gesture of love towards our less fortunate brothers and sisters we are all asked to make a sacrifice at tomorrow’s mid–day meal and to give what we save for Saint Joseph’s Hospital of Kitovu in Uganda, where many AIDS patients are being cared for with great love and attention. That region has been drastically affected by this dreaded disease and thousands of children have been left orphans as a result of it. Our gesture is a small sign of our love, an invitation to society not to neglect those who are suffering, especially when that suffering, which Jesus takes to himself, can only be alleviated by the close, personal, caring presence of others.

Jesus has called each one of you to Denver for a purpose: You must live these days in such a way that, when the time comes to return home, each one of you will have a clearer idea of what Christ expects of you. Each one must have the courage to go and spread the Good News among the people of the last part of the twentieth century, in particular among young people of your own age, who will take the Church and society into the next century.

Y a Ustedes, jóvenes Latino–Americanos, ¿qué les pide Cristo? Él busca colaboradores en la nueva evangelización. Busca misioneros y misioneras de su Palabra en todos los pueblos de este Continente de la Esperanza. Busca constructores de una sociedad nueva, más justa, más fraterna, más acogedora hacia los " pequeños " y necesitados. Cristo necesita a cada uno y a cada una de Ustedes.

6. Lord Jesus Christ, Send your Holy Spirit upon the young people who have set out to find you in the heart of the modern metropolis, especially during the catecheses of these days.

Be with us all at the great gathering of the pilgrims on the path of life, when at the Vigil of the Feast of Mary’s Assumption into Heaven and at the Mass on that day, the young people of the United States, of the Americas, of the world, will proclaim and celebrate their faith in you, you who alone have the words which unlock the depths of the mystery of true Life.

O Mary, Our Lady of the new Advent, who kept all these things, pondering them in your heart, teach these young people to be good listeners to your Son, the Word of Life.

Pray for them that no barriers will stand in the way of their discovering the new Life which your Son brought into the world.

Virgin Daughter of Sion, guide each step of our way along the path that leads to Life!

Young people of the Eighth "World Youth Day", rise to the challenge which Denver sets before you:

Follow the "pilgrim" Cross; go in search of God, because he can also be found in the heart of a modern city; recognize him in so many young people full of hope and noble ideals; feel the breath of the Holy Spirit among so many different races and cultures, all united in acknowledging Christ as the way, the truth and the life of every human being (Cfr. Ioannis Pauli PP. II Allocutio ad precationem “Angelus Domini”, 2, die, 4 apr. 1993: Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, XVI, 1 (1993) 822).

Dear young friends, in the name of Jesus Christ, I greet you all together, everyone, all the different linguistic groups, and all together.

You are here, you are here, the universal Church, and I pray that Jesus be with you and bless all this "World Youth Day" for everyone and for all together. My speech was long, was too long, but now I have finished; I have finished. With great joy I look forward to our next meeting. Hasta la vista.


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