Papal Message to Youth of Latium Region

«To Be an Architect of the Civilization of Love»

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 18, 2005 ( Here is a translation of John Paul II’s message to young people, read by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, at a vigil Thursday in the Basilica of St. John Lateran. The event was held in preparation for World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany.

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«Adoro Te devote, latens Deitas!»

1. Dear young people of Rome and of the dioceses of the Latium region: Your meeting in the Basilica of St. John Lateran to adore the Eucharist, in this year that is dedicated to it, is an opportunity to prepare yourselves better for World Youth Day. I wish to unite myself spiritually to you and to express to you all my affection. I know that you are always by my side, and that you do not tire of praying for me. I greet you and I give you my heartfelt thanks.

I greet with gratitude the cardinal vicar, the bishops, priests and sisters who accompany you, as well as those who organized this important moment of reflection and prayer.

2. «Adoro Te devote, latens Deitas!» Together, let us raise our gaze to the Eucharistic Jesus. Let us contemplate him and together repeat these words of St. Thomas Aquinas, which manifest all our faith and love: Jesus, I adore you hidden in the Host!

At a time marked by hatreds, egoisms, desires of false happiness, the decadence of customs, the absence of paternal and maternal figures, instability in so many young families, and so many fragilities and difficulties that young people suffer, we look at you, Eucharistic Jesus, with renewed hope. Despite our sins, we trust in your divine mercy. We repeat to you, together with the disciples of Emmaus, «Mane nobiscum Domine!» «Stay with us, Lord!»

In the Eucharist, you restore to the Father all that comes from him and thus a profound mystery of justice is realized of the creature toward the Creator. The heavenly Father has created us in his image and likeness. From him we have received the gift of life, which the more we recognize as precious from the moment of its beginning until death, the more it is threatened and manipulated.

We adore you, Jesus, and give you thanks because in the Eucharist the mystery is actualized of that unique offering to the Father that you made 2,000 years ago with the sacrifice of the cross, a sacrifice that redeemed the whole of humanity and the whole of creation.

3. «Adoro Te devote, latens Deitas!»

We adore you, Eucharistic Jesus! We adore your Body and Blood, given up for us, for all, in remission of sins: Sacrament of the new and eternal Covenant!

While we adore you, how is it possible not to think of all that we must do to give you glory? At the same time, however, we recognize that St. John of the Cross was right when he said: «Those who are very active and who think they will embrace the world with their preaching and their external works must remember that it would be of greater profit for the Church and much more pleasing to God, not to mention the good example they would give, if they spent at least half of that time in being with God in prayer.»

Help us, Jesus, to understand that «to do» something in your Church, including in the very urgent area of the new evangelization, it is necessary above all «to be,» namely, to be with you in adoration, in your sweet company. Authentic, effective and true apostolic action arises only from profound communion with you.

A great saint who entered the Carmel of Cologne, St. Benedicta Teresa of the Cross, Edith Stein, liked to repeat: «Members of the Body of Christ, animated by his Spirit, we offer ourselves as victims with him, in him, and unite ourselves to the eternal thanksgiving.»

4. «Adoro Te devote, latens Deitas!» Jesus, we ask you that every young person here present may want to be united to you in an eternal thanksgiving and commit himself in the world of today and tomorrow to be an architect of the civilization of love.

May he place you at the center of his life, may he adore and celebrate you. May he grow in familiarity with you. Eucharistic Jesus! May he receive you, participating with assiduity in Sunday’s Holy Mass and, if possible, every day. From these intense and frequent moments, may commitments be born of free surrender of life to you, who are full and true freedom. May holy vocations to the priesthood arise: Without the priesthood there is no Eucharist, source and summit of the life of the Church. May vocations to the religious life grow in great numbers. May vocations to holiness sprout with generosity, which is the lofty measure of ordinary Christian life, especially in families. The Church and society need this today more than ever.

5. Eucharistic Jesus, I entrust to you the young people of Rome, of the region of Latium, and of the whole world: their feelings, affections, and projects. I present them to you, placing them in the hands of Mary, your and our Mother.

Jesus, who surrendered yourself to the Father, love them!
Jesus, who surrendered yourself to the Father, heal the wounds of their spirit!
Jesus, who surrendered yourself to the Father, help them to adore you in truth and bless them! Now and always. Amen!

I impart to all my blessing with affection.

From the Vatican, March 15, 2005


[Translation by ZENIT]

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