This March 25th, marking the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, Pope Francis visited the Italian town of Loreto, on the Adriatic Sea.
On the occasion, Francis offered the Virgin Mary the Post-Synodal Exhortation of the Synod of Bishops on the theme: “Youth, faith and vocational discernment”, held in the Vatican from Oct. 3-28, 2018.
Loreto is a hill town in the Marche region of Italy, on the Adriatic Sea. The Basilica of the Holy House of Mary makes Loreto a popular pilgrimage site.
During the visit, the Pope celebrated Mass in the Holy House. At its conclusion, Francis signed the Post-Synodal Letter to the Youth, titled: ‘Vive Cristo, esperanza nuestra.’
Vive Cristo, esperanza nuestra is the opening of the original text in Spanish of the post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, whose text will subsequently be published with the signature of March 25.
It was announced by Director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, that the Exhortation “Christus Vivit,” will be published on April 2, “the memorial of the death of John Paul II.”
The wish, he expressed during a briefing in Loreto, is “to link together the two pontificates, so loved by and close to the younger generations.” Pope John Paul II had been the first Pope to address a letter to young people in 1985 and he was the Pope who began the World Youth Days.
After today’s Mass, Francis greeted the Community of Capuchin Friars in the sacristy. In the Sanctuary, the Pope greeted the sick present and went out to the churchyard of the Sanctuary to meet the faithful, where he offered an address before praying the Angelus.
In the Square, Francis recalled to the some 10,000 faithful present the words of the angel Gabriel to Mary telling her she would conceive a child who would save mankind from their sins and what this meant for the world.
“I think of Loreto as a privileged place where the young can come research their true vocation, at the school of Mary!” Francis shared, noting the House of Mary is also a “home of the family” and a “home of the ill.”
Pope Francis concluded, blessing those present and praying to Mary to help all people, especially the young, in their journey for peace, and to bring help and comfort to all those in difficulty.
ZENIT will bring our readers the Pope’s full text in English as soon as possible.