Benedict XVI Tells Youth That Christ Needs Them

Addresses WYD Pilgrims on Anniversary of John Paul’s Death

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 3, 2012 ( On the anniversary of Blessed John Paul II’s death on Monday, Benedict XVI addressed a group of pilgrims living out part of the legacy left by the Polish Pontiff.

A group of some 5,000 young people from the Archdiocese of Madrid, Spain, are in Rome accompanied by their archbishop Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela for a pilgrimage to thank the Pope for his trip to Spain during last August’s World Youth Day. 

Addressing the youth, Benedict XVI spoke of them as «the protagonists and principal recipients of [World Youth Day,] this pastoral initiative vigorously stimulated by my beloved predecessor, Blessed John Paul II, of whom today we remember his transit to Heaven.»

«Whenever I recall the twenty-sixth World Youth Day in Madrid, my heart is filled with gratitude to God for those unforgettable days,» he continued. «That marvellous encounter can only be understood in the light of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church, which never ceases to infuse hearts with encouragement, and continually leads us out into the public square of history, as happened at Pentecost, to bear witness to God’s wonders. You are called to cooperate in this edifying task. … Christ needs you at His side to extend and build His Kingdom of charity».

«No one is superfluous to such an undertaking. Therefore, never cease to ask yourselves what the Lord is calling you to do, and how you can help Him,» the Pope invited. «Each of you has a personal vocation which He has given you for your own joy and sanctity. When a person is conquered by the fire of His gaze, no sacrifice seems too great to follow Him and give Him the best of ourselves. This is what the saints have always done, spreading the light of the Lord … and transforming the world into a welcoming home for everyone.»

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