European University Day Links Students in Prayer

Pope to Send Message

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 4, 2005 ( The 3rd European University Day, in preparation for World Youth Day in Cologne, will be observed tomorrow in Rome.

With the motto “Intellectual and Scientific Research: A Path to Encounter Christ,” the day will culminate with a prayer vigil, to be held in the Vatican’s Paul VI auditorium. Some 10,000 young people are expected to participate with Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Pope’s vicar for Rome, presiding at the celebration.

The Holy Father, who initially had hoped to participate, will give Cardinal Ruini a message to read to the young people.

United through a satellite signal launched by the Vatican Television Center, groups of young people gathered in various locations throughout Europe will pray together, led in each location by cardinals and bishops.

The Pope’s health will be among the young people’s prayer intentions.

The program for the vigil includes a series of reflections and testimonies of faith given by youths, followed by the recitation of the Rosary.

Every young person attending the ceremony will be given a copy of John Paul II’s encyclical “Fides et Ratio,” on the relationship between faith and reason.

At the end of the vigil, the participants will walk in procession to St. Agnes in Piazza Navona, a church in Rome dedicated especially to young people.

European University Day, held on the first Saturday of March, was instituted by John Paul II three years ago.

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