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Angelus Address: The Word of God on the Closing of the Synod of Bishops on Young People

‘It Was a Time of Consolation and of Hope’

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At the end of the Holy Mass on October 28, 2018, celebrated in the Vatican Basilica, concluding the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, on the theme: “Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment,” the Holy Father Francis appeared at the window of his study in the Apostolic Palace, to recite the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
Here is a ZENIT translation of the Pope’s address before and after praying the Angelus.
* * *
Before the Angelus:
 Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning! But it doesn’t seem so good! [It’s raining and it’s windy].
This morning, in St. Peter’s Basilica, we celebrated the closing Mass of the Assembly of the Synod of Bishops dedicated to young people. The first Reading, of the prophet Jeremiah (31:7-9), was particularly attuned to this moment because it’s a word of hope, which God gives to His people. A word of consolation, founded on the fact that God is a Father for His people; He loves them and takes care of them as His children (Cf. v. 9); He opens before them a horizon of future, an accessible, practical path, on which “the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her who is in travail,” (v. 8) namely, persons in difficulty, will be able to walk — because God’s hope isn’t a mirage, as some advertising is, where all are healthy and beautiful, but it’s a promise for real people, with good points and bad points, potential and fragility, like all of us: God’s hope is a promise for people like us.
This Word of God expresses well the experience we lived in the weeks of the Synod: it was a time of consolation and of hope. It was, first of all, a moment of listening: to listen, in fact, requires time, attention, an open mind, and heart. However, every day this commitment was transformed into consolation, especially because we had in our midst the lively and stimulating presence of young people, with their stories and their contributions. Through the testimonies of the Synodal Fathers, the multi-form reality of the new generations entered the Synod, so to speak, from everywhere: from every Continent and from many different human and social situations.
With this fundamental attitude of listening, we sought to read the reality, to gather the signs of these our times. <It was> a communal discernment, made in the light of the Word of God and of the Holy Spirit. This is one of the most beautiful gifts that the Lord gives to the Catholic Church, namely, that of bringing together the voices and faces of the most varied realities and thus being able to attempt an interpretation that takes into account the richness and complexity of the phenomena, always in the light of the Gospel. So, in these days, we were faced with having to know how to walk together through so many challenges, such as the digital world, the phenomenon of migrations, the meaning of the body and sexuality, the tragedy of wars and violence. The fruits of this work are now “fermenting,” as the juice of the grapes does in the casks after the harvest. The Synod of Young People was a good harvest, and it promises good wine. However, I would like to say that the first fruit of this Synodal Assembly should be in fact in the example of a method that one tried to follow, from the preparatory phase; a Synodal style that doesn’t have, as its main objective, the drawing up of a document, which is also precious and useful. More important than the document, however, it’s important to spread a way of being and of working together, young people and elderly, in listening and in discernment, to arrive at pastoral choices that respond to the reality.
Therefore, we invoke the intercession of the Virgin Mary. To Her, who is Mother of the Church, we confide our gratitude to God for the gift of this Synodal Assembly. And may She help us now to take forward, without fear, what we experienced, in the ordinary life of communities. May the Holy Spirit, with His wise imagination, make the fruits of our work grow, to continue to walk together with the young people of the whole world.
© Libreria Editrice Vatican
[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
After the Angelus:
 Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I express my closeness to the city of Pittsburgh, in the United States of America, and, in particular, to the Jewish community, hit by a terrible attack in the Synagogue. May the Most High receive the deceased in His peace, comfort their families and support the wounded. In reality, we are all wounded by this inhuman act of violence. May the Lord help us to extinguish the hotbeds of hatred that develop in our societies, reinforcing the meaning of humanity, the respect of life, the moral and civil values, and the holy fear of  God, who is Love and Father of all.
Proclaimed Blessed yesterday at Morales, in Guatemala, were Jose Tullio Maruzzo, Religious of the Friars Minor, and Luis Obdulio Arroyo Navarro, killed out of hatred for the faith in the last century, during the persecution against the Church, committed to promoting justice and peace. We praise the Lord and trust to His intercession the Guatemalan Church, and all brothers and sisters that, unfortunately, still today are persecuted in various parts of the world because they witness the Gospel. All applaud the two Blesseds!
I greet you all affectionately, dear pilgrims from Italy and from various countries, in particular, the young people from Maribor (Slovenia), the Spanish Foundation “Roman Academic Centre” and the parishioners of Saint Siro, Bishop in Canobbio (Switzerland). I greet the volunteers of the Saint John XXIII Shrine of Sotto il Monte, on the 60th anniversary of the election of the beloved Pope of Bergamo, as well as the faithful of Cesena and of Thiene, and the ministers and youngsters of Catholic Action of the diocese of Padua.
Celebrated today is the feat of the Lord of the Miracles, much loved in Lima and in the whole of Peru. A grateful thought goes to the Peruvian people and to the Peruvian community in Rome. You were here last Sunday with the icon of the Lord of the Miracles, and I didn’t realize it. Best wishes on the feast day! And I greet affectionately the Venezuelan community in Italy, gathered here with the image of Our Lady of Chiquinquira, the “Chinita.”
 I wish you all a happy Sunday and, please, don’t forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch and goodbye!
© Libreria Editrice Vatican
[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

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Virginia Forrester

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