VATICAN CITY, MARCH 2, 2011 ( Benedict XVI today assured people suffering illnesses that they are building the Kingdom of God.

The Pope said this at the conclusion of the general audience, during his customary greeting to young people, the sick and newlyweds.

He urged those who suffer illnesses or disabilities to "always be aware that you contribute in a mysterious way to the building of the Kingdom of God, offering your sufferings to the heavenly Father in union with those of Christ."

The Holy Father encouraged young people to "prepare yourselves to face the important stages of life with spiritual commitment, building your projects on the solid basis of fidelity to God."

Finally, he recommended to newlyweds: "[B]e able to build your family daily by listening to God, in faithful reciprocal love and in hospitality to the neediest."