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Sunday 5, August 1973


Today is a day of joy for us as we extend a special greeting to the Catholic Youth Council of Hong Kong.

Your presence here brings back memories of our visit to Hong Kong. We can still vividly remember so many moments of that happy day. We recall the welcome given us by your zealous pastor, Bishop Hsu, to whose memory we render on this occasion another testimony of our prayerful and loving respect. We can still see the crowds of young people who met us as we descended from the helicopter, and the large number of people who awaited us at the Stadium and with whom we offered up the Eucharist and to whom we addressed our words.

And today we wish to say again what we said then, because these words spring from our heart and express our inmost sentiments: "We are very happy to be with you, dear sons and daughters of Hong Kong . . . We want to encourage you to persevere firmly in the faith of your baptism and confirmation and to exhort you to an ever greater commitment in searching for the most apt means of rendering the Christian message of love more understandable in the world in which you live" (AAS 62, 1971, 78-79).

We repeat these words to you today because we know that you have a special mission as young people: "to contribute effectively in showing to all your brothers and sisters the perennial youth and reforming power of the Gospel of Christ and so give them hope for the building up in love of a more fraternal society" (Ibid. p. 79).

This is your task; this is what you are called upon to do within the communion of the Church, which is the effect of Christ’s love for us. The Church is indeed a sacrament of unity and of love; and, as we stated, "to love is her mission" (Ibid.). Through you and by means of all the energy that is in you and in the youth whom you represent, the love of Christ must spread and bring forth results in brotherhood and justice, in peace and joy for all men.

And again: "While we are saying these simple and sublime words, we have around us-we almost feel it-all the Chinese people wherever they may be" (Ibid.). Indeed, in you we greet your fellow students, your fellow workers and the vast numbers of Asian youth. Through you we extend our greeting to the entire Orient. We do this in the name of Christ and in fidelity to his message of fraternal love. With affection in the Lord we give you all our Apostolic Blessing.


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