Pope Francis encouraged young people to look to Mary as a model, but also to take action in their communities. They must not be afraid to take risks and to commit to the building of a new society, bringing the Gospel to the social, political, economic and university realms.
The Holy Father’s comments came in early July in a letter —released today, August 1, 2017, in Portuguese — to young people of Brazil, gathered in Aparecida for the closing of the “Rota 300” Project, in the Marian Year that commemorates the 300 years of the finding of Our Lady’s image in the waters of Rio Paraiba do Sul (july 29-30 2017).
“The Virgin Mary is a beautiful example for youth and a help in the walk on the way of life. Great reflections are not necessary for you to perceive this truth,” Pope Francis said, recalling his past visits to Aparecida. “I was able to discover there the tender and maternal look of the dark Virgin and in the eyes of the simple people that contemplated her, the secret of hope that moves the Brazilian people, to face with faith and courage the challenges of each day.”
The Holy Father reminded young people that Mary is aware of the challenges they face. She will accompany them in their efforts to reach out to those in need.
“Through the intercession of the Virgin Aparecida, may the Lord be able to renew hope and the missionary spirit in each one of you.” The Pope said. “You are the hope of Brazil and of the world.”