Pope Francis will be meeting with an estimated 500 youth from the Italian diocese of Piacenza-Bobbio. The Year of Faith pilgrimage will reflect on the theme: “Upon This Rock”. In an interview with Vatican Radio, Bishop Gianni Ambrosio of Piacenza stated that the meeting with the Holy Father will be the culminating event of the pilgrimage.
“We are anxiously awaiting the meeting with the Pope, to confess the Catholic, apostolic faith, together with he who is the Successor of Peter,” Bishop Ambrosio said. “So it is a long, articulated journey that we have made and it precisely finds its most joyous, most beautiful moment for the youth here in St. Peter’s with Pope Francis.”
The Bishop of Piacenza stated that the youth are excited for the upcoming meeting with the Holy Father, particularly because they not only recognize him as “the” Pope but more so as “their Pope”. Bishop Ambrosio also said that the youth even suggested that the Bishop address him as “Carissimo Papa Francesco” (Dearest Pope Francis), “as a way of expressing their filial love” to the Holy Father.
Regarding the Holy Father’s recent meeting with youth during World Youth Day in Rio, Bishop Ambrosio said that today’s meeting gives an opportunity to the youth who were unable to make the trip to Brazil. “There are some youth who could not participate at World Youth Day, but even they met together for the Vigil on Saturday and the Mass on Sunday,” he said. “So, in some way, our World Youth Day concludes here, in this meeting with the Holy Father.
Concluding his interview, Bishop Ambrosio hoped that this pilgrimage with the youth of his diocese would illuminate the path of faith to all who attend. “We are always accompanied by the presence of the Risen One in our midst and of the Church that continues Jesus’ mission, which is to offer to the children of God the possibility of a path that takes us towards the goal, towards salvation,” the Bishop said.