VATICAN CITY, OCT. 24, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II met with 40,000 Scouts of all ages in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican and encouraged them to “swim against the current” of an individualist society.
“The Pope looks to you with confidence and hope and supports you with his prayer and affection in the great adventure of life,” the Holy Father said Saturday to the youths.
The Scouts met with the Pope to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Association of Italian Catholic Guides and Scouts, as well as the 50th anniversary of the Adult Scouts Movement.
In most Italian parishes this movement is an important element of the parish framework of youth activities.
The Scouts renewed their Scout Promise before the Pope, saying: “On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country, to obey the Scout Law; and to help other people at all times.”
John Paul II encouraged the Scouts to live their law, through which “you can make the impossible possible.”
This law, which inspired the promise, was thought out by Lord Robert Baden-Powell (1857-1941), founder of the Scouts, and a former English general.
“Be men and women who, taking Jesus’ Gospel as reference, are able to educate others to live in freedom and responsibility, to ‘swim against the current’ to give into the temptation of individualism, laziness and lack of commitment,” he stressed.
Finally, the Holy Father reminded the Scouts that the Year of the Eucharist has begun, inviting them to make of this mystery “a constant point of reference in your daily choices,” participating actively both in Sunday Eucharistic celebrations as well as Masses celebrated during their excursions.