Pontiff Invites Youth to Be Inspired by John Paul II

Voices Hope That Families Be Light of the World

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 1, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is urging youth to find inspiration in Blessed John Paul II: «father, guide, priest and friend of the youth.»

The Pope said this today at the end of the general audience in St. Peter’s Square, when he greeted the crowds in several languages.

His message in Polish included a particular greeting for youth who will meet Saturday for an annual event called Lednica 2000. This event is a major gathering of Polish Catholic youth, held on the first Saturday of June. It began in 1997.

Lednica Lake is a site for Catholic gatherings because tradition holds that it is the place where the first Polish monarchs accepted the Catholic faith.

«Give thanks to God for the life and the beatification of John Paul II: father, guide, priest and friend of the youth,» Benedict XVI told the Polish young people. «He built his house on the rock who is Christ! He followed the voice of the Gospel. He persevered in prayer and in adoration of the Eucharist. He had a heart that was open to all. He suffered with Christ. He was an extraordinary pilgrim in faith.»


Benedict XVI also mentioned his upcoming trip to Croatia, scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday.

The Pope noted how he will visit Zagreb for the National Day of Catholic Croatian Families.

«I look forward to this meeting with joy and invite you to pray that my visit to that beloved land will produce much spiritual fruit,» he said, «and that Christian families might be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.»

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