Remembrance of John Paul II's First Angelus in 1978

Notes Preferential Dialogue With the Young

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 12, 2003 ( Here is a translation of the address John Paul II gave today before praying the Angelus with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

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Dear Brothers and Sisters!

1. Next Thursday, Oct. 16, will be the 25th year of my pontificate. At 6 p.m. I will celebrate a solemn Mass of thanksgiving in St. Peter’s Square. I now thank all those who will be united with me in prayer, in gratitude to God for his constant and provident assistance.

2. I remember those days of October 1978. I recall, in a special way today, the first Angelus that I recited from this window on Oct. 22. In the mystery of the Incarnation, which this prayer helps us to contemplate, I then tried to «embrace the whole future of the pontificate, of the People of God, and of the whole human family» — as I said — «the family has its beginning in the will of the Father, but is always conceived under the heart of the Mother» («Insegnamenti,» I, 1978, 43).

3. Now, while I recall the past with gratitude, I look upon young people with whom I established, from the beginning of my Petrine ministry, a preferential dialogue. I remember that, at the end of that first Angelus, I added a special greeting to them, saying: «You are the future of the world, you are the hope of the Church, you are my hope.»

I must acknowledge that the response of young people has been truly encouraging. Today I want to thank them for having always been close to me during these years and I want them to know that I continue to count on them.

I entrust them to you, O Mary, who are the perennial youth of the Church. Help them to be prepared and disposed to do the will of God, to build with generosity a more just and fraternal world.

[Translation by ZENIT]

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