Today the Pope had lunch with young volunteers of World Youth Day, who represented all the continents and included representatives from New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Italy, Columbia, as well as the host nation, Poland.
During the meal, each of the youth had the chance to ask Francis a question, which with the help of translators, he answered.
One of the volunteers said she asked him how he felt following his election to the pontificate in March 2013, to which he replied: “I felt a bit of peace, and I haven’t lost this peace.” Another young woman asked Francis for some advice and his answer was: “Don’t give up hope,” adding that it’s important for young people to be themselves “in these times, these crucial moments.”
Tonight the Holy Father will lead a prayer vigil for World Youth Day pilgrims at the Field of Mercy venue on the outskirts of Krakow. The venue contains two new charitable centres, a day care for the elderly and a storage building for food parcels donated by local parishes for those most in need.
Both buildings were constructed as a permanent reminder of the theme for this year’s World Youth Day, taken from St Matthew’s Gospel: ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy’.
Tomorrow the WYD XXXI concludes with a closing Mass.