(ZENIT News / Lisbon, 06.08.2023).- At the end of the Mass, which concluded the World Youth Day in Lisbon, Pope Francis prayed the traditional Sunday Angelus. Before reciting this Marian prayer, he gave his usual address, which focused on the word “thank you” (obrigado in Portuguese). It was an especially emotional address, given the weight of memories that he wished to associate to his memories, especially of people.
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A word that has resonated many times these days has been “thank you,” better said, “obrigado.” What the Patriarch of Lisbon has just explained to us is beautiful, that “obrigado” not only expresses gratitude for what has been received, but also to correspond to the good [received]. In this event, of grace, we have all received and, now, that we are preparing to return home, the Lord makes us feel the necessity to share also with others, witnessing with joy our gratitude to God and what He has placed in our hearts.
However, before taking leave of one another, I also wish to say “obrigado.”
In the first place, to Cardinal Clemente, and with him to the Church of all the Portuguese people: obrigado.
Obrigado to Mister President, who has accompanied us in the events of these days; obrigado to the national and local institutions for the support and assistance they have given us; obrigado to the Bishops, priests, consecrated and laity; and obrigado to you, Lisbon who will remain in the memory of these young people as “House of Fraternity” and “City of Dreams.”
I also express my gratitude to Cardinal Farrell — who has rejuvenated in these Days — and to those that prepared these Days, as well as all those who have accompanied them with prayer. Obrigado to the volunteers, to them this heartfelt applause for their great service! And a special gratitude to those that from Heaven have watched over the WYD, namely, the event’s Patron Saints, and one in particular: John Paul II, who gave life to the World Youth Days.
And obrigado to all of you, dear young people! God sees all the good that you are, and He alone knows what He has sown in your hearts. You are leaving here with what God sowed in your heart. Make it grow, take care of it diligently. I would like to give you a recommendation: keep present in your mind and heart the most beautiful moments. So that when moments or exhaustion and discouragement come — which are inevitable –, and perhaps the temptation to stop walking or closing yourselves in yourselves, you may revive with your memory the experiences and the grace of these days, because — don’t ever forget it — this is the reality, you are this, the holy, faithful People of God that walks with the joy of the Gospel! I would also like to send greetings to the young people who were unable to be present here, but who have taken part in the initiatives organized by their countries, by the Episcopal Conferences, by the Dioceses; and I am thinking, for example, of the Sub-Saharan brothers and sisters gathered in Tangiers. Thank you to all, thank you.
And in a particular way, we accompany with affection and prayer those that have been unable to come because of conflicts and wars. There are many wars in the world, many conflicts. Thinking of this Continent, I feel great pain for beloved Ukraine, which continues to suffer so much. Friends, permit me also, now old, to share with you, young people, a dream I have in my heart, the dream of peace, the dream of young people who pray for peace, live in peace, and build a future of peace. Through the Angelus, let us place the future in the hands of Mary, Queen of Peace. And there is one last obrigado, which I would like to stress at the end: obrigado to our roots, to our grandparents, who transmitted the faith to us, who transmitted to us the horizon of a life. They are our roots. And on your return home, continue praying for peace. You are a sign of peace for the world, a testimony of how different nationalities languages and histories can unite instead of dividing. You are the hope for a different world. Thank you. Keep going!
And at the end, there is a moment that all are waiting for: the announcement of the next stage of the path. But before telling you which will be the venue for the forty-first World Youth Day, I would like to extend an invitation to you. I make an appointment for all the young people of the world for 2025 in Rome, to celebrate together the Jubilee of Young People! And I’ll wait for you here in ’25 to celebrate together the Jubilee of Young People. And the next World Youth Day will take place in Asia: it will be in South Korea, in Seoul! And so, in 2027 from the westernmost border of Europe it will go to the Far East. This is a beautiful sign of the universality of the Church and of the dream of unity of which you are witnesses!
And, finally one last obrigado we address to two special persons, to the two main protagonists of this meeting. They were here with us, and they continue being with us always, they never lose sight of our lives, they love our lives as no one else can. Obrigado to You, Lord Jesus. Obrigado to you, Mary, our Mother; and now, let’s pray [The Angelus]
(Translation of the Spanish original by Virginia M. Forrester)