“The canonization of Pope John Paul II gave a new impetus to your work, in the service of the Church and evangelization." Pope Francis made this observation when speaking to the John Paul II Foundation at the Vatican Saturday afternoon.

The work to which the Holy Father was referring had been namely service to the youth, particularly in education.

"St. John Paul II has always had a great love for youth and a special pastoral care for them," he said, pointing out, "And you help to ensure that his charisma and his paternity continue to bear fruit.”

He told them, "You offer a valuable contribution to ensuring that the spiritual heritage of this Holy Pontiff continues to fertilize the large field of the Church and to support his journey through history."

As priests and lay, Francis noted, "you also offer valuable opportunities to enrich their education," especially preparing them to face the "cultural and pastoral challenges of our day."

"For this purpose, you can also draw from the rich teaching of social doctrine that St. John Paul II has left us, and that proves more timely than ever."

Francis encouraged them to recall the late Polish Pontiff's attention to the word 'solidarity,' and reminded them they are to live this out, while at the same time being prayerful and obedient to God's Word.

The Holy Father concluded, telling them to turn to the Virgin Mother Mary, "to whom St. John Paul II has consecrated his life and his pontificate," thanking them for their visit and service, and asking them to pray for him.


On ZENIT's Web page:

Full text: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-address-to-john-paul-ii-foundation--2

On the NET:

John Paul II Foundation website: http://www.fjp2.com/

Pope's Address to Bishops of Benin

«It is known that Benin is an example of harmony among the religions present in the territory. It is appropriate to be vigilant, taking into account the present world climate, in order to preserve this fragile heritage.»