Pope Francis chooses Marian theme for World Youth Day

Pope Francis greets young people taking part in the XI International Youth Forum


Vatican City, June 30: Meeting a group of young people in the Vatican, Pope Francis announced the theme of the World Youth Days in Lisbon in 2022.

The theme of the 2022 World Youth Days in Lisbon will be “Mary rose and went with haste” (Lk 1:39), Pope Francis said June 22 while meeting some 250 youths from more than 100 countries.

The young people were in Rome participating in the XI International Youth Forum, which focused on the theme of “Youth in action in a synodal Church.”

Recalling World Youth Day in Panama, Pope Francis called on young people to prepare for the next World Youth Day by meditating on two scriptural passages from Lk 7:14: “Young man, I say to you, Arise!” and a re-working of Acts 26:16, “Stand up. I appoint you as a witness of what you have seen.”

Francis said he hopes there will be a “harmonious connection” between the journey to the Lisbon World Youth Day, and the post-synodal journey.

These verses will serve as the themes for the World Youth Days in 2020 and 2021, leading up to the international World Youth Day in Lisbon.

“Do not tune out the voice of God, who urges you to arise and follow the paths He has prepared for you,” Francis told the gathering. “Like Mary, and in union with her, may you daily bring to others all your love and joy.”

The pope also took the opportunity to reflect on the experience of the disciples at Emmaus, which the October Synod on young people described as “paradigmatic for understanding Church’s mission to the young.”

He said it was providential that the Solemnity of Corpus Christi occurred during the forum. “Could it be that the Lord wanted once more to open your hearts so that he could speak to you through this page of the Gospel?” the pope asked.

He explained that the experience of Emmaus led the disciples to continue on their journey, although it was now nighttime, illuminated by the presence of Christ “lighting up their lives.”

Today, too, young people are “called to be light in the dark night” experienced by so many youths who “do not yet know the joy of new life in Jesus.”

Pope Francis also emphasized the need for community. “The more we bring Him to others, the more we will feel His presence in our lives,” he said.

In a world with “more and more divisions,” which lead to war and enmity, young people “have to be the message of unity,” he said adding, “You are the today of God, the today of the Church.”

 

(source: La Croix )

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