ROME – With just three months to go until the global World Youth Day gathering in Lisbon, Pope Francis has sent a message to young people telling them to get excited, and to prepare by getting advice from grandma and grandpa.
In a video message published Thursday, the pope told youth that as they prepare travel to Portugal, “I can imagine the things you must have on your mind…how you’re going to: make it happen, request your work or study permit, get what you need for your trip, so many concerns, but always looking towards that horizon, that dream.”
“It’s a dream,” he said, saying, “to participate in WYD is something beautiful, and when one feels it, they have the desire to participate.”
Francis told youth to prepare themselves “with that enthusiasm” and to “put hope in that. Have hope…because one grows a lot at an event like WYD.”
“We don´t realize it, but things remain inside us. Values remain, those we have discovered inside, relationships with youth from other countries…the encounters. It all remains inside us, and above all, to see the strength of the youth. The church has the strength of youth,” he said.
Pope Francis then gave them “a secret” to playing well, which he said was “to look towards your roots.”
“Try to spend time with the elderly. Many of you have grandparents. Visit your grandparents, and ask them: ‘In your time did World Youth Day exist?’ Surely not. ‘And what do you think I must do?’”
“Talk a little with your grandparents. They´ll give you wisdom. But always go forward,” he said, saying, “I´ll see you in Lisbon.”
This year’s international World Youth Day event will take place from Aug. 1-6 in Lisbon. Pope Francis is expected to make an appearance at the gathering and is also expected to visit the nearby famed Marian shrine in Fatima.
Pope Francis has so far attended two World Youth Day gatherings. His first international trip as pope was for WYD in Rio de Janiero in 2013, and he also attended the global WYD event was in Krakow, Poland in 2016.
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