The Pope invited the faithful of the parish of St. Alexis, in the neighborhood of Case Rosse, on the city´s outskirts, to open their hearts “to the certainty that men´s lives and history, despite tragedies, remain solidly in God´s hands.”
“The Lord promises salvation to anyone who places his trust in him: ´not a hair of your head will perish,´” he reminded the 400 parishioners who crowded into the new church. Hundreds more followed the Mass on large video screens outside.
A young boy who greeted the Pope said: “Now you are one of our heroes. You are also among the posters of singers and actors hanging from the walls of our rooms, a star among the stars.”
“We are sure you are not scandalized by all this,” the boy added with a mischievous smile. “You are too strong, Holiness!”
John Paul II responded with a smile.