July 2013

All Pope Francis visits outside Italy during 2013

Re: July 2013

Postby Sonia » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:13 pm

Here are all the Rome Reports videos with special thanks and kind permission from Rome Reports TV News Agency

Monday 22 July 2013

What the Pope can expect during his flight to BrazilTraveling to Brazil, for World Youth Day, marks the Pope's first international trip. On Monday morning, after greeting religious leaders and Italian politicians, the Pope boarded a plane and took off to Rio de Janeiro. Many were surprised to see him carry his personal briefcase, as he boarded the plane.

During the 12 hour flight, the plane will fly over Italy, Algeria, Mauritania, Senegal and finally Brazil. The flight will be long, but there's plenty of people to keep the Pope company.

FEDERICO LOMBARDI
Vatican's Spokesperson
“The entourage includes the Vatican's Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, and his substitute, Msgr. Becciu. Among the cardinals there's Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who serves as the president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America and Brazilian Cardinal Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Religious.”


Several journalists are also flying with the Pope, on the papal plane. Instead of the traditional press conference, that began under John Paul II and was continued under Benedict XVI, Pope Francis decided he will not have a press conference. Instead, he will personally greet each journalist.

The Pope will be a big jet lagged when he arrives to Brazil, since Rome is five hours ahead of Rio. But, upon arrival, he will first be greeted by two children who will give the Pope a floral arrangement as a welcoming gift.

He will then be greeted by Brazil's Papal Nuncio, Msgr. Giovanni d'Aniello and by Archbishop Msgr. Orani Joao Tempesta.


The country's president, Dilma Rousseff and the state governor are expected to greet the Pope as well. But the official ceremony will not take place at the airport. Rather, it will be held at the city's Guanabara Palace, where the Pope will give his initial speech.

Afterward the Pope will head out to the so called Sumaré residence where he will have a private dinner, before heading off to sleep.



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Monday 22 July 2013

Pope Francis has arrived in Brazil!

After a 12 hour flight, Pope Francis has officially landed in Rio de Janeiro. Upon his arrival, the Pope was greeted by a cheering and singing crowd, in true Brazilian style. The welcoming ceremony also included full military honors.

Two children welcomed the Pope with a bouquet of flowers. Afterward, he was greeted by a delegation that included Brazilian President Dilma Roussef, the Archbishop of Rio, Orani João Tempesta, Papal nuncio Giovanni D'Aniello and the Archbishop of Aparecida, Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis.




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Monday 22 July 2013

Massive Crowds greet Pope Francis as he goes through Rio's streets in modest car.

About 30 minutes after landing in Rio, Pope Francis made his way through the streets of Rio, in a modest grey colored vehicle.

The combination of heavy street traffic and thousands of enthusiastic pilgrims forced the Pope's driver to stop the car on different occasions.

The Pope rode on the back of the car, greeting pilgrims along the way. Upon his arrival to Rio de Janeiro's Cathedral, the Pope hopped on his open air popemobile, as thousands of young people cheered him on from the city streets.



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Monday 22 July 2013

Pope in Brazil: I don't have silver or gold, but I bring with me the most precious gift: Jesus Christ!

A few hours after arriving to Rio de Janeiro's airport, Pope Francis made his way to the city's Guanabara Palace, where he gave his first World Youth Day speech. The Pope thanked Brazil for its hospitality, highlighting that providence led him to Latin America for his first international trip.

The Pope emphasized that through World Youth Day he intends to not only reach out to the youth, but also to the elderly and entire families. He added that he is anxious to meet with young people who are drawn to the open arm embrace of 'Christ the Redeemer.'

POPE'S TRANSLATED SPEECH

Madam President,
Distinguished Authorities,
Brethren and Friends!

“In his loving providence, God wished that the first international trip of my pontificate should take me back to my beloved Latin America, specifically to Brazil, a country proud of its links to the Apostolic See and of its deep sentiments of faith and friendship that have always kept it united in a special way to the Successor of Peter. I am grateful for this divine benevolence.

I have learned that, to gain access to the Brazilian people, it is necessary to pass through its great heart; so let me knock gently at this door. I ask permission to come in and spend this week with you. I have neither silver nor gold, but I bring with me the most precious thing given to me: Jesus Christ! I have come in his name, to feed the flame of fraternal love that burns in every heart; and I wish my greeting to reach one and all: The peace of Christ be with you!

I cordially greet the President and the distinguished members of her government. I thank her for her warm welcome and for the words by which she expressed the joy of all Brazilians at my presence in their country. I also greet the state governor who is hosting us in the government palace, and the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, as well as the members of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the government of Brazil, the other authorities present and all those who worked hard to make my visit here a reality.

I would like to greet affectionately my brother bishops, to whom falls the serious task of guiding God’s flock in this vast country, as well as their beloved local churches. With this visit, I wish to pursue the pastoral mission proper to the Bishop of Rome of confirming my brothers in their faith in Christ, of encouraging them to give an account of the reasons for the hope which comes from him, and of inspiring them to offer everyone the inexhaustible riches of his love.

As you know, the principal reason for my visit to Brazil goes beyond its borders. I have actually come for World Youth Day. I am here to meet young people coming from all over the world, drawn to the open arms of Christ the Redeemer. They want to find a refuge in his embrace, close to his heart, to listen again to his clear and powerful appeal: "Go and make disciples of all nations".

These young people are from every continent, they speak many languages, they bring with them different cultures, and yet they also find in Christ the answer to their highest aspirations, held in common, and they can satisfy the hunger for a pure truth and an authentic love which binds them together in spite of differences.

Christ offers them space, knowing that there is no force more powerful than the one released from the hearts of young people when they have been conquered by the experience of friendship with him. Christ has confidence in young people and entrusts them with the very future of his mission, "Go and make disciples". Go beyond the confines of what is humanly possible and create a world of brothers and sisters! And young people have confidence in Christ: they are not afraid to risk for him the only life they have, because they know they will not be disappointed. As I begin my visit to Brazil, I am well aware that, in addressing young people, I am also speaking to their families, their local and national church communities, the societies they come from, and the men and women upon whom this new generation largely depends.

Here it is common for parents to say, "Our children are the apple of our eyes". How beautiful is this expression of Brazilian wisdom, which applies to young people an image drawn from our eyes, which are the window through which light enters into us, granting us the miracle of sight! What would become of us if we didn’t look after our eyes? How could we move forward? I hope that, during this week, each one of us will ask ourselves this thought-provoking question.

Young people are the window through which the future enters the world, thus presenting us with great challenges. Our generation will show that it can realize the promise found in each young person when we know how to give them space; how to create the material and spiritual conditions for their full development; how to give them a solid basis on which to build their lives; how to guarantee their safety and their education to be everything they can be; how to pass on to them lasting values that make life worth living; how to give them a transcendent horizon for their thirst for authentic happiness and their creativity for the good; how to give them the legacy of a world worthy of human life; and how to awaken in them their greatest potential as builders of their own destiny, sharing responsibility for the future of everyone.

As I conclude, I ask everyone to show consideration towards each other and, if possible, the sympathy needed to establish friendly dialogue. The arms of the Pope now spread to embrace all of Brazil in its human, cultural and religious complexity and richness. From the Amazon Basin to the pampas, from the dry regions to the Pantanal, from the villages to the great cities, no one is excluded from the Pope’s affection. In two days’ time, God willing, I will remember all of you before Our Lady of Aparecida, invoking her maternal protection on your homes and families. But for now I give all of you my blessing. Thank you for your welcome!



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Monday 22 July 2013

Pope to Youth: 'Go and make disciples.' Go beyond the confines of what is humanly possible

After a 12 hour flight, Pope Francis made it to Brazil. With a cheering crowd in the background, the Pope was greeted by the country's president, Dilma Rousseff and Brazil's religious leaders.

The transportation that came afterward, seemed a bit cumbersome. He first boarded a modest gray car, where he was swarmed by enthusiastic crowds and heavy traffic. The Pope then hopped on his open air popemobile, as he went through the city's streets. He finally took a military helicopter to Rio's Guanabara Palace.

There, during his first official speech, he thanked Brazil for its hospitality, adding that he hopes to give them, the most valuable gift of all.

POPE FRANCIS
“I have neither silver nor gold, but I bring with me the most precious thing given to me: Jesus Christ! I have come in his name, to feed the flame of fraternal love that burns in every heart; and I wish my greeting to reach one and all: The peace of Christ be with you!”

Speaking in Portuguese, the Pope said that through World Youth Day, he hopes to make disciples of all nations. He also encouraged the youth, to go above and beyond what's expected.

POPE FRANCIS
“Christ has confidence in young people and entrusts them with the very future of his mission, "Go and make disciples". Go beyond the confines of what is humanly possible and create a world of brothers and sisters.”

The Pope then emphasized that even though World Youth Day is a celebration for the youth, he also wants to reach out to all generations, so that the message of Jesus is proclaimed loud and clear.

POPE FRANCIS
“As I begin my visit to Brazil, I am well aware that, in addressing young people, I am also speaking to their families, their local and national church communities, the societies they come from, and the men and women upon whom this new generation largely depends.”

The Pope's trip to Brazil, was first approved by Benedict XVI during his pontificate. During his speech Pope Francis said he believed it was providential that his first international trip is to his beloved Latin America.



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Tuesday 23 July 2013

The Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, one of the sites Pope Francis will visit in Brazil

Every day, hundreds of buses with thousands of pilgrims flock to a very special Brazilian known as the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Aparecida. With over 11 million visits per year, it is one of the most visited Marian shrines in the world. In fact, it welcomes much more pilgrims than other famous sites like that of Lourdes and Fatima.

On arrival, many pilgrims light a candle, to thank Our Lady for the graces they've received. Others spend hours praying in this room suited for over 70,000 people. In it, some leave personal items like letters and pictures to thank Our Lady or to make a special prayer.

Our Lady of Aparecida is the patroness of Brazil, and devotion to Her statue dates back to 1717. According to tradition, in October of that year, two fishermen prayed to Our Lady, asking Her to grant them a good catch for the day. As they dragged up their nets, they found this small clay statue of Our Lady and many fishes.

The name “Aparecida” comes from the Spanish word for 'appearing', since the fishermen were granted their wish, through the intercession of Our Lady.

Construction for the first Basilica dedicated to Our Lady of Aparecida, began in 1834. In fact, the site attracted so many people, that over time, a nearby town came to be. A century later, a new 18,000 square meter sanctuary was needed to accommodate all the pilgrims. Now that site is a reality. It's a site that welcomes more than 200,000 pilgrims every single day.




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Tuesday 23 July 2013

Pope Francis decides to talk to the press during papal flight to Brazil

From the start, Pope Francis said he wasn't planning on holding a press conference during his Papal flight to Brazil, but apparently the Pope did talk to the press, in a type of informal gathering.

According to the Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, about two hours after boarding his morning flight to Brazil, the Pope talked to the press, where he said the Church needs to go out and reach out to the youth in their own environment. Leaving them isolated, he said, would be a shame and an injustice.

The Pope also said it's quite moving to celebrate World Youth Day with hundreds of thousands of young adults, especially now that the generation is going through a social and economic crisis, where jobs are limited.

He emphasized that despite the fact that he's looking forward to celebrating WYD, he also wants to honor the elderly, who as he put it, have the wisdom of life and of the family. He added that both the youth and the elderly are need, to build a better future.



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Tuesday 23 July 2013

Breaking down the Pope's first World Youth Day in numbers

With World Youth Day underway, the massive gathering is bound to break some records. The official registration number exceeds 350,000 youths, but that number could easily be multiplied during the closing ceremony, since on that day, there's no need to register to attend. Some estimate that up to 2 million youths could show up to celebrate with the Pope.



According to Brazil's Civil Aviation Department, about 70,000 pilgrims are arriving on a daily basis to Rio's airports. Young Catholics from 190 countries are making their way to Brazil, but the top 10 countries are of course Brazil, followed by Argentina, the U.S, Chile, Italy, Venezuela, France, Paraguay, Peru and Mexico.

There are over 200,000 registered Brazilians. From Argentina, the Pope's native country, there are about 20,000 pilgrims. From the United States, more than 11,000. From Chile, the number stands at 9,100, which is actually the highest number since the year 2000. From Italy, about 7,000 youths are expected in Rio.


A total of 28 cardinals and 600 bishops will accompany Pope Francis during his first World Youth Day celebration. Parishes, gyms and auditoriums will turn into key points of catechesis for the more than 250 bishops who will be in Rio. The catechesis will be offered in 26 languages in more than 270 locations.



For now, the number of journalists has also exceeded expectations. More than 5,500 journalists are accredited, which is a higher number than World Youth Day in Madrid.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO37T2j8NlQ[/youtube

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Wednesday 24 July 2013

WYD Opening Mass: Right now, Rio is the Capital of the Catholic Youth

With an outburst of color, music and flags, World Youth Day's opening ceremony was celebrated in Copacabana, Rio with a Mass. It was one of the main public events, as the world awaits the Pope's first public WYD appearance.

The Tuesday evening Mass was lead by the Archbishop of Rio, Msgr. Orani João Tempesta. In his homily, he emphasized that the world is looking at Rio, as 'the center of the young and living Church'. In a following statement, those sentiments were echoed by Cardinal Rylko.


CARD. Stanisław Ryłko
President, Pontifical Council for the Laity
“Dear youths! This is the day you've all been waiting for: the start of the 28th World Youth Day. Welcome to Rio de Janeiro, welcome to this extraordinary Brazilian metropolis!"


A little bit of rain didn't stop the celebration and certainly didn't kill the enthusiasm. With thousands of youths from all of the world, they were all encouraged the use this time to fully understand and live out their faith.


CARD. Stanisław Ryłko
President, Pontifical Council for the Laity
“After a long and difficult preparation in your parishes and communities, you are here: this is a young Church, filled with the joy of faith and missionary enthusiasm!"


The Mass was attended by over 500,000 youths. A celebration in true Brazilian-style, the perfect beginning of a very 'musical' WYD.



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Wednesday 24 July 2013

Crowds welcome Pope to Brazil's 'Our Lady of Aparecida Shrine'

After a brief flight in a military helicopter, Pope Francis arrived to Brazil's Our Lady of Aparecida Shrine, where he was welcomed by thousands of cheering faithful.

The Pope made his way to the Sanctuary's Basilica in a popemobile, stopping along the way to bless a few children. The crowd didn't seem to mind the rainy weather, and welcomed Pope Francis by singing and chanting.

At the shrine's entrance, the Pope was welcomed by the Church's rector and by its residing priests.



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Wednesday 24 July 2013

Pope Francis prays before Our Lady of Aparecida

Upon his arrival to the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, Pope Francis prayed before Our Lady, just moments after walking into the Sanctuary.

Speaking in Portuguese, the Pope said the same prayer pilgrims traditionally recite when visiting the Shrine. He then honored Our Lady with a bouquet of flowers. With applause in the background, the Pope walked up to the statue and blessed it, moments before celebrating his first WYD Mass in the Basilica.



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Wednesday 24 July 2013

Pope's Homily in Aparecida: Christianity is based on hope, openness to God and joy

Pope Francis celebrated his first World Youth Day Mass, at the Marian Shrine of Aparecida. In his homily, he called on Christians to embrace a positive life, based on hopefulness, openness to God and joy.

Pope Francis also said that every youth must 'knock at the door of Mary's house' to look for help and guidance.

POPE'S HOMILY
My Brother Bishops and Priests,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

What joy I feel as I come to the house of the Mother of every Brazilian, the Shrine of our Lady of Aparecida! The day after my election as Bishop of Rome, I visited the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome, in order to entrust my ministry as the Successor of Peter to Our Lady. Today I have come here to ask Mary our Mother for the success of World Youth Day and to place at her feet the life of the people of Latin America. There is something that I would like to say first of all. Six years ago the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean was held in this Shrine. Something beautiful took place here, which I witnessed at first hand. I saw how the Bishops – who were discussing the theme of encountering Christ, discipleship and mission – felt encouraged, supported and in some way inspired by the thousands of pilgrims who came here day after day to entrust their lives to Our Lady. That Conference was a great moment of Church. It can truly be said that the Aparecida Document was born of this interplay between the labours of the Bishops and the simple faith of the pilgrims, under Mary’s maternal protection. When the Church looks for Jesus, she always knocks at his Mother’s door and asks: "Show us Jesus". It is from Mary that the Church learns true discipleship. That is why the Church always goes out on mission in the footsteps of Mary.

Today, looking forward to the World Youth Day which has brought me to Brazil, I too come to knock on the door of the house of Mary – who loved and raised Jesus – that she may help all of us, pastors of God’s people, parents and educators, to pass on to our young people the values that can help them build a nation and a world which are more just, united and fraternal. For this reason I would like to speak of three simple attitudes: hopefulness, openness to being surprised by God, and living in joy.

1. Hopefulness. The second reading of the Mass presents a dramatic scene: a woman – an image of Mary and the Church – is being pursued by a Dragon – the devil – who wants to devour her child. But the scene is not one of death but of life, because God intervenes and saves the child (cf. Rev 12:13a, 15-16a). How many difficulties are present in the life of every individual, among our people, in our communities; yet as great as these may seem, God never allows us to be overwhelmed by them. In the face of those moments of discouragement we experience in life, in our efforts to evangelize or to embody our faith as parents within the family, I would like to say forcefully: Always know in your heart that God is by your side; he never abandons you! Let us never lose hope! Let us never allow it to die in our hearts! The "dragon", evil, is present in our history, but it does not have the upper hand. The one with the upper hand is God, and God is our hope! It is true that nowadays, to some extent, everyone, including our young people, feels attracted by the many idols which take the place of God and appear to offer hope: money, success, power, pleasure. Often a growing sense of loneliness and emptiness in the hearts of many people leads them to seek satisfaction in these ephemeral idols. Dear brothers and sisters, let us be lights of hope! Let us maintain a positive outlook on reality. Let us encourage the generosity which is typical of the young and help them to work actively in building a better world. Young people are a powerful engine for the Church and for society. They do not need material things alone; also and above all, they need to have held up to them those non-material values which are the spiritual heart of a people, the memory of a people. In this Shrine, which is part of the memory of Brazil, we can almost read those values: spirituality, generosity, solidarity, perseverance, fraternity, joy; they are values whose deepest root is in the Christian faith.

2. The second attitude: openness to being surprised by God. Anyone who is a man or a woman of hope – the great hope which faith gives us – knows that even in the midst of difficulties God acts and he surprises us. The history of this Shrine is a good example: three fishermen, after a day of catching no fish, found something unexpected in the waters of the Parnaíba River: an image of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. Whoever would have thought that the site of a fruitless fishing expedition would become the place where all Brazilians can feel that they are children of one Mother? God always surprises us, like the new wine in the Gospel we have just heard. God always saves the best for us. But he asks us to let ourselves be surprised by his love, to accept his surprises. Let us trust God! Cut off from him, the wine of joy, the wine of hope, runs out. If we draw near to him, if we stay with him, what seems to be cold water, difficulty, sin, is changed into the new wine of friendship with him.

3. The third attitude: living in joy. Dear friends, if we walk in hope, allowing ourselves to be surprised by the new wine which Jesus offers us, we have joy in our hearts and we cannot fail to be witnesses of this joy. Christians are joyful, they are never gloomy. God is at our side. We have a Mother who always intercedes for the life of her children, for us, as Queen Esther did in the first reading (cf Est 5:3). Jesus has shown us that the face of God is that of a loving Father. Sin and death have been defeated. Christians cannot be pessimists! They do not look like someone in constant mourning. If we are truly in love with Christ and if we sense how much he loves us, our heart will "light up" with a joy that spreads to everyone around us. As Benedict XVI said: "the disciple knows that without Christ, there is no light, no hope, no love, no future" (Inaugural Address, Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, Aparecida, 13 May 2007, 3).
Dear friends, we have come to knock at the door of Mary’s house. She has opened it for us, she has let us in and she shows us her Son. Now she asks us to "do whatever he tells you" (Jn 2:5). Yes, dear Mother, we are committed to doing whatever Jesus tells us! And we will do it with hope, trusting in God’s surprises and full of joy. Amen.



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Wednesday 24 July 2013

Pope to Youth: Forget about false idols. Only God offers true hope

After a warm welcome, Pope Francis celebrated his first World Youth Day Mass in the Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida. The Pope remembered that upon his election, he entrusted his pontificate to Our Lady. At the very start of the Mass, he once again asked Our Lady for the success of WYD and the protection of Latin America.

POPE FRANCIS

“When the Church looks for Jesus, it always knocks at His Mother’s door and asks: 'Show us Jesus'. It is from Mary that the Church learns true discipleship. That is why the Church always goes out on its mission in the footsteps of Mary.”

During his homily, the Pope also addressed parents and educators, encouraging them to welcome the responsibility of passing on the faith. When addressing the youth, the Pope said, false worldly idols need to be replaced by the one true God.


POPE FRANCIS

“It is true that nowadays, to some extent, everyone, including our young people, feels attracted by the many idols which take the place of God and appear to offer hope: money, success, power, pleasure. Often a growing sense of loneliness and emptiness in the hearts of many people leads them to seek satisfaction in these ephemeral idols. Dear brothers and sisters, let us be lights of hope! Let us maintain a positive outlook on reality.”

When it comes to leading a positive way of life, the Pope said one should embrace three simple attitudes: hopefulness, openness to God and joy.

POPE FRANCIS

“Christians cannot be pessimists! They cannot look like someone in constant mourning. If we are truly in love with Christ and if we sense how much he loves us, our heart will 'light up' with a joy that spreads to everyone around us. As Benedict XVI said: 'the disciple knows that without Christ, there is no light, no hope, no love, no future.”

Towards the end of the Mass, the Pope told the crowds, that they should never forget that the values of spirituality, generosity, perseverance, fraternity and joy are rooted in the Christian faith.



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Wednesday 24 July 2013

Pope gets emotional at the end of Mass in Aparecida

As the Pope ended his first World Youth Day Mass, he got emotional, as he embraced an image of Our Lady of Aparecida, the patroness of Brazil.


While leaving the altar, the Pope was visibly moved as he carried the statue. With watery eyes, he welcomed the special moment, as thousands of pilgrims looked on.



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Wednesday 24 July 2013

Pope visits Brazilian hospital that helps recovering drug addicts

The Pope visited a hospital in Rio de Janeiro, that helps recovering drug addicts. Upon arrival to the St. Francis of Assisi Hospital, where he inaugurated a new facility wing, hundreds of people welcomed him with songs and cheers.

Despite the rainy weather, they braved the elements to greet Pope Francis in person. As he walked to the hospital, the Pope took some time to greet and bless the crowds.



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Wednesday 24 July 2013

Pope to recovering addicts: Take control of your life. It's difficult, but possible. The Church is with you

Pope Francis visited a Brazilian hospital that helps recovering drug addicts in the city of Rio. After greeting the crowds outside the St. Francis of Assisi hospital, the Pope gave a speech where he denounced drug-trafficking and the so called 'dealers of death.' He also reminded those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction that there is hope, adding that the Church will not abandon them.


POPE'S TRANSLATED SPEECH
Dear Archbishop Tempesta,
brother Bishops,
Distinguished Authorities,
Members of the Venerable Third Order of Saint Francis of Penance,
Doctors, Nurses, and Health Care Workers,

Dear Young People and Family Members,

God has willed that my journey, after the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, should take me to a particular shrine of human suffering – the Saint Francis of Assisi Hospital. The conversion of your patron saint is well known: the young Francis abandoned the riches and comfort of the world in order to become a poor man among the poor. He understood that true joy and riches do not come from the idols of this world – material things and the possession of them – but are to be found only in following Christ and serving others. Less well known, perhaps, is the moment when this understanding took concrete form in his own life. It was when Francis embraced a leper. This brother, suffering and an outcast, was the "mediator of light ... for Saint Francis of Assisi" (Lumen Fidei, 57), because in every suffering brother and sister that we embrace, we embrace the suffering Body of Christ. Today, in this place where people struggle with drug addiction, I wish to embrace each and every one of you, who are the flesh of Christ, and to ask God to renew your journey, and also mine, with purpose and steadfast hope.

To embrace – we all have to learn to embrace the one in need, as Saint Francis did. There are so many situations in Brazil, and throughout the world, that require attention, care and love, like the fight against chemical dependency. Often, instead, it is selfishness that prevails in our society. How many "dealers of death" there are that follow the logic of power and money at any cost! The scourge of drug-trafficking, that favours violence and sows the seeds of suffering and death, requires of society as a whole an act of courage. A reduction in the spread and influence of drug addiction will not be achieved by a liberalization of drug use, as is currently being proposed in various parts of Latin America. Rather, it is necessary to confront the problems underlying the use of these drugs, by promoting greater justice, educating young people in the values that build up life in society, accompanying those in difficulty and giving them hope for the future. We all need to look upon one another with the loving eyes of Christ, and to learn to embrace those in need, in order to show our closeness, affection and love.

To embrace someone is not enough, however. We must hold the hand of the one in need, of the one who has fallen into the darkness of dependency perhaps without even knowing how, and we must say to him or her: You can get up, you can stand up. It is difficult, but it is possible if you want to. Dear friends, I wish to say to each of you, but especially to all those others who have not had the courage to embark on our journey: You have to want to stand up; this is the indispensible condition! You will find an outstretched hand ready to help you, but no one is able to stand up in your place. But you are never alone! The Church and so many people are close to you. Look ahead with confidence. Yours is a long and difficult journey, but look ahead, there is "a sure future, set against a different horizon with regard to the illusory enticements of the idols of this world, yet granting new momentum and strength to our daily lives" (Lumen Fidei, 57). To all of you, I repeat: Do not let yourselves be robbed of hope! And not only that, but I say to us all: let us not rob others of hope, let us become bearers of hope!

In the Gospel, we read the parable of the Good Samaritan, that speaks of a man assaulted by robbers and left half dead at the side of the road. People pass by him and look at him. But they do not stop, they just continue on their journey, indifferent to him: it is none of their business! Only a Samaritan, a stranger, sees him, stops, lifts him up, takes him by the hand, and cares for him (cf. Lk 10:29-35). Dear friends, I believe that here, in this hospital, the parable of the Good Samaritan is made tangible. Here there is no indifference, but concern. There is no apathy, but love. The Saint Francis Association and the Network for the Treatment of Drug Addiction show how to reach out to those in difficulty because in them we see the face of Christ, because in these persons, the flesh of Christ suffers. Thanks are due to all the medical professionals and their associates who work here. Your service is precious; undertake it always with love. It is a service given to Christ present in our brothers and sisters. As Jesus says to us: "As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me" (Mt 25:40).

And I wish to repeat to all of you who struggle against drug addiction, and to those family members who share in your difficulties: the Church is not distant from your troubles, but accompanies you with affection. The Lord is near you and he takes you by the hand. Look to him in your most difficult moments and he will give you consolation and hope. And trust in the maternal love of his Mother Mary. This morning, in the Shrine of Aparecida, I entrusted each of you to her heart. Where there is a cross to carry, she, our Mother, is always there with us. I leave you in her hands, while with great affection I bless all of you.



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Wednesday 25 July 2013

Pope to recovering drug addicts: The Church is with you, but you need the will to stand up

A few hours after celebrating his first World Youth Day Mass, the Pope visited a hospital that helps recovering drug addicts. For over a decade, Franciscan friars have run the St. Francis of Assisi Hospital, helping over 1,700 recovering addicts, in the past 13 years. Despite the heavy rain, a large crowd was ready to welcome Pope Francis. Before giving his speech, he listened to the testimonies, of those who got their life back on track thanks to the center.




“I felt loved again and in turn, I was able to love others. I left that life behind and I became a better person. Every day, I learn more, thanks to God and thanks to this institution.”

The Pope denounced those who see human lives as a means of business or drug deals and he called on society to not be indifferent.

POPE FRANCIS
“How many 'dealers of death' there are that follow the logic of power and money at any cost! The scourge of drug-trafficking, that favors violence and sows the seeds of suffering and death, requires of society as a whole an act of courage.”

He also added that the solution to the drug problem is not based on legalizing their use. Rather, he said, the solution is found in instilling values and education.

POPE FRANCIS
“A reduction in the spread and influence of drug addiction will not be achieved by a liberalization of drug use, as is currently being proposed in various parts of Latin America. Rather, it is necessary to confront the problems underlying the use of these drugs, by promoting greater justice, educating young people in the values that build up life in society, accompanying those in difficulty and giving them hope for the future.”


The Pope also thanked the Franciscan friars who day in and day out, help those who need it most. Despite the challenges, he urged the young addicts, to continue their recovery and to have hope.

PAPA FRANCISCO
“You have to want to stand up; this is the indispensible condition! You will find an outstretched hand ready to help you, but no one is able to stand up in your place. You are never alone! The Church and so many people are with you. Look ahead with confidence. You have a long and difficult journey, but you must look ahead.”

The Pope then added that during his visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, he prayed for each and every one of them, asking Our Lady to protect them. He also asked them to never forget, that God walks along with them, even in the hardest moments.



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Thursday 25 July 2013

Pope prays for victims of Spain's deadly train crash

After hearing about Spain's deadly train accident, Pope Francis said he was deeply moved and was praying for all the victims and their relatives. More than 70 people lost their lives, near the pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela. It's estimated that at least 140 passengers were injured.




The Feast Day of St. James, is celebrated on July 25 and the area is a popular pilgrimage site. In light of the tragedy, all the city's public festivities have been canceled.

To lend support, a Twitter hashtag named, PrayforSantiago was launched to show solidarity and to pray for the victims.

Preliminary reports state, that speeding may have caused the accident. The driver who was slightly injured, was said to be traveling double the speed limit.

During a World Youth Day press conference in Brazil, the Vatican's spokesperson, Father Lombardi called for a moment of silence to pray for the victims. The Archbishop of the Spanish city, Julian Barrio also offered his condolences and support.



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Thursday 25 July 2013

Pope given Brazilian sports jersey with his name

On Thursday afternoon, Pope Francis visited Rio's city Palace where he was welcomed by local mayor, Mr. Eduardo Paes. During a tour of the palace, the Pope was given a green sporting jersey with his name on it. Since Brazil will host the 2016 Olympics, the Pope also took some time to greet a group of athletes.



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Thursday 25 July 2013

Pope given 'keys' of Rio de Janeiro. Blesses Olympic Flags in city's municipal palace

Pope Francis has received the keys to the city of Rio de Janeiro. On Thursday afternoon, he visited the city's municipal palace, where he was greeted by mayor Eduardo Paes. After receiving the keys to the city, the Pope blessed the
Olympic and Paralympic flags, which hung over the garden square. Brazil will host the Olympics in 2016.



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Thursday 25 July 2013

Pope visits Brazilian Slum. Blesses parish altar

Pope Francis visited a Brazilian slum, just outside of Rio de Janeiro. As he was making his way through the city's streets, crowds rushed alongside the popemobile, hoping to greet him.

The slum, which is part of the Community of Varginha and it's known for its limited resources. For decades it was popular for its drug related violence, but most recently, with help of police, its crime rate has been reduced.

The Pope explicitly asked for this slum visit to be added to his trip's agenda. After saying a prayer, he also blessed a parish altar that's still under construction.



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Thursday 25 July 2013

Pope greets Brazilian athletes before receiving keys to the city of Rio

Just moments after making his way to Rio's so called 'city palace,' the Pope was welcomed by a group of local leaders, including the city's mayor Mr. Eduardo Paes.

The Pope was given a green Brazilian sports jersey as a welcoming gift. Since Brazil will host the Olympics in 2016, he also greeted a group of athletes.



One very tall athlete, in particular asked for his blessing. Afterward, there was time for some lighthearted fun.

POPE FRANCIS
“I'm sure you scored, just by doing this.”

After the formal greeting, the Pope made his way to the building's balcony, where he was given the keys to the city.

The Pope then blessed both the Olympic and Paralympic flags, as he stood out in the balcony, facing a garden square, full of people who didn't seem to mind, the light rain. Down in the main floor, he also blessed a Crucifix and a religious image.



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Thursday 25 July 2013

Pope to Slum Community: Don't be discouraged. Don't be indifferent

During his visit to a Brazilian slum, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of generosity, even amid limited resources. The Pope called on the community, specifically the youth, to not be indifferent to corruption or injustices.


POPE'S TRANSLATED SPEECH

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It is wonderful to be here with you! From the start, my wish in planning this visit to Brazil was to be able to visit every district throughout the nation. I would have liked to knock on every door, to say "good morning", to ask for a glass of cold water, to take a cafezinho, to speak as one would to family friends, to listen to each person pouring out his or her heart – parents, children, grandparents ... But Brazil is so vast! It is impossible to knock on every door! So I chose to come here, to visit your community, which today stands for every district in Brazil. How wonderful it is to be welcomed with such love, generosity, and joy! One need only look at the way you have decorated the streets of the community; this is a further mark of affection, it comes from your heart, from the heart of all Brazilians in festive mood. Many thanks to each of you for this kind welcome! And I thank Archbishop Orani Tempesta as well as Rangler and Joana for their kind words.

1. From the moment I first set foot on Brazilian soil, right up to this meeting here with you, I have been made to feel welcome. And it is important to be able to make people welcome; this is something even more beautiful than any kind of ornament or decoration. I say this because when we are generous in welcoming people and sharing something with them – some food, a place in our homes, our time – not only do we no longer remain poor: we are enriched. I am well aware that when someone needing food knocks at your door, you always find a way of sharing food; as the proverb says, one can always "add more water to the beans"! And you do so with love, demonstrating that true riches consist not in material things, but in the heart!

And the Brazilian people, particularly the humblest among you, can offer the world a valuable lesson in solidarity, a word that is too often forgotten or silenced, because it is uncomfortable. I would like to make an appeal to those in possession of greater resources, to public authorities and to all people of good will who are working for social justice: never tire of working for a more just world, marked by greater solidarity! No one can remain insensitive to the inequalities that persist in the world! Everybody, according to his or her particular opportunities and responsibilities,
should be able to make a personal contribution to putting an end to so many social injustices. The culture of selfishness and individualism that often prevails in our society is not what builds up and leads to a more habitable world: it is the culture of solidarity that does so, seeing others not as rivals or statistics, but brothers and sisters.

I would like to encourage the efforts that Brazilian society is making to integrate all its members, including those who suffer most and are in greatest need, through the fight against hunger and deprivation. No amount of "peace-building" will be able to last, nor will harmony and happiness be attained in a society that ignores, pushes to the margins or excludes a part of itself. A society of that kind simply impoverishes itself, it loses something essential. Let us always remember this: only when we are able to share do we become truly rich; everything that is shared is multiplied! The measure of the greatness of a society is found in the way it treats those most in need, those who have nothing apart from their poverty!

2. I would also like to tell you that the Church, the "advocate of justice and defender of the poor in the face of intolerable social and economic inequalities which cry to heaven" (Aparecida Document, 395), wishes to offer her support for every initiative that can signify genuine development for every person and for the whole person. Dear friends, it is certainly necessary to give bread to the hungry – this is an act of justice. But there is also a deeper hunger, the hunger for a happiness that only God can satisfy. There is neither real promotion of the common good nor real human development when there is ignorance of the fundamental pillars that govern a nation, its non-material goods: life, which is a gift of God, a value always to be protected and promoted; the family, the foundation of coexistence and a remedy against social fragmentation; integral education, which cannot be reduced to the mere transmission of information for purposes of generating profit; health, which must seek the integral well-being of the person, including the spiritual dimension, essential for human balance and healthy coexistence; security, in the conviction that violence can be overcome only by changing human hearts.

3. I would like to add one final point. Here, as in the whole of Brazil, there are many young people. Dear young friends, you have a particular sensitivity towards injustice, but you are often disappointed by facts that speak of corruption on the part of people who put their own interests before the common good. To you and to all, I repeat: never yield to discouragement, do not lose trust, do not allow your hope to be extinguished. Situations can change, people can change. Be the first to seek to bring good, do not grow accustomed to evil, but defeat it. The Church is with you, bringing you the precious good of faith, bringing Jesus Christ, who "came that they may have life and have it abundantly" (Jn 10:10).

Today, to all of you, especially to the residents of this Community of Varginha, I say: you are not alone, the Church is with you, the Pope is with you. I carry each of you in my heart and I make my own the intentions that you carry deep within you: thanksgiving for joys, pleas for help in times of difficulty, a desire for consolation in times of grief and suffering. I entrust all this to the intercession of Our Lady of Aparecida, Mother of all the poor of Brazil, and with great affection I impart my blessing.



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Thursday 25 July 2013

Pope to Slum Community: Bread is necessary, but don't ignore your spiritual hunger

The Pope's visit to a Brazilian slum was one of the stops he explicitly, added to the trip's schedule. He was given a warm welcome as he walked into the slums of the Manguinhos Complex. He blessed a parish altar, and he made his way through the slum, greeting and blessing children along the way. He then met with a local family, in private, visiting their humble home.



A group of kids, even gave him a banner of his favorite Argentinian soccer team, 'San Lorenzo.'
The Pope addressed the slum's community thanking it for its hospitality, with a bit of humor.


POPE FRANCIS
“I would have liked to knock on every door, to say 'good morning', to ask for a glass of cold water, to take a cafezinho, to speak as one would to family friends, to listen to each person pouring out his or her heart, parents, children, grandparents.”

That slum is known for a history of drug violence and for its extreme poverty. But referencing the multiplication of bread, he reminded them that when one gives, one also receives.

POPE FRANCIS
“When we are generous in welcoming people and sharing something with them – some food, a place in our homes, our time – not only do we no longer remain poor: we are enriched. I am well aware that when someone needing food knocks at your door, you always find a way of sharing food; as the proverb says, one can always "add more water to the beans!'”

In an open air field, the Pope said that giving bread to the hungry is an act of justice, but he also added they should not ignore their spiritual hunger for God.

When disillusioned with corruption, crime or indifference, the Pope called on the youth, to not be discouraged. The Church, he said, is at their side.

POPE FRANCIS
“To you and to all, I repeat: never yield to discouragement, do not lose trust, do not allow your hope to be extinguished. Situations can change, people can change. Be the first to seek to bring good, do not grow accustomed to evil, but defeat it."


In his speech, the Pope called for the protection of life, the family, education, and health.



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Thursday 25 July 2013

Pope to Argentinians: Live the Gospel out on the street, not just in your parish

Pope Francis, visited Rio's Cathedral to meet with thousands of Argentinians who traveled to Brazil take part in World Youth Day. Speaking in Spanish, the Pope encouraged the youth, to live their faith, out in the streets and not just in their parish.

POPE FRANCIS
“What do I expect from World Youth Day? I want action. I know you will shake things up. I know that's going to happen here in Rio. But I also want action in your dioceses. I want you to go beyond your comfort zone. I want the Church to go out to the street."

After visiting the Varghina slum, Pope Francis made his way to the city's Cathedral to meet with the youth. In the background, one could hear the 1987 World Youth Day Hymn, back when the celebration was held in Argentina. The Pope stressed that the Church is not an NGO. He also said the youth has a lot in common with the elderly, encouraging them to not exclude them in their family or society.

POPE FRANCIS
“The world we live in has gone too far. It's too much. It's gotten to a point where God has been replaced by money. We are witnessing a philosophy of exclusion that goes to two extremes, disregarding the young and the elderly. These two are needed! We don't take care of the elderly. But there's also a cultural euthanasia. They are not allowed to speak or act. It's the same with the youth. Young people have to go out to defend true values. Fight for those values!"

In his improvised speech, the Pope also told the youth that faith is real and that they should stay true to their beliefs.

POPE FRANCIS
“Faith in Jesus Christ is no joke. It's something very serious. It's incredible that God became human to be with us. This is amazing. Jesus died on the Cross-This is astounding! The sacrifice of the Cross is incredible, and it's the only sure path. Please don't dilute your faith in Jesus Christ. You can't reduce faith. Faith is whole. Faith in Jesus cannot be diluted.”

An image of Our Lady of Lujan was present during the meeting, which was actually not part of the official schedule. The Pope blessed theimage as well as the St. Francis Cross that will be part of a pilgrimage in his native Argentina.

More than 20,000 Argentinians traveled to Brazil for World Youth Day. Those who managed to actually go inside the Cathedral, spent the night outside, so they could get a spot in the morning. Since not everyone was allowed inside, the Pope took some time to greet the pilgrims who were outside. As he greeted them he lifted an Argentinian flag.



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Thursday 25 July 2013

Pope Francis arrives in Copacabana for WYD welcoming ceremony with youths

After a brief helicopter flight, Pope Francis arrived at Rio's Copacabana, the main venue of WYD 2013. On his popemobile, the Pope traveled along the road that follows the coastline. But the cheering crowd, over 1 million youths, was so great the car took over one hour to make the roughly 3 mile journey.



As usual, the car also stopped several times, so that Pope Francis could personally meet and bless some of the children and pilgrims. At some point, the Pope even wore a 'papal hat' given to him by a pilgrim, and drank a few sips of mate, the traditional Argentinian beverage he loves so much.

Then, the Pope reached the stage especially built for the occasion and began the official Welcoming Ceremony of WYD 2013.



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Thursday 25 July 2013

Youths welcome Pope Francis in Copacabana with a special song

During the welcoming ceremony of WYD a special song was sang to Pope Francis. It was especially composed for him, and sang by father Fábio de Melo.



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MORE VIDEOS TO FOLLOW
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Re: July 2013

Postby Sonia » Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:59 pm

Here are all the Rome Reports videos with special thanks and kind permission from Rome Reports TV News Agency



Thursday 25 July 2013

Pope Francis to youths: 'welcome to this feast of faith!'

After his arrival at the official WYD Welcoming Ceremony in Copacabana, Pope Francis was welcomed on the especially built stage by the Archbishop of Rio, João Orani Tempesta.



Then, with an extremely evocative and colorful choreography, a group of youths staged a musical welcoming for Pope Francis. Groups with flags representing the various countries of the world danced and paraded in front of the Pope.

After the opening ceremony, the Pope gave a speech in which he thanked everyone for the warm welcome he received, but also his predecessor, Benedict XVI, for having summoned the meeting. The Pope also encouraged the youths to put their trust in Christ, and to make Him the center of their lives.

POPE'S GREETING

Dear Young Friends,

Good evening!

In you I see the beauty of Christ’s young face and I am filled with joy. I recall the first World Youth Day on an international level. It was celebrated in 1987 in Argentina, in my home city of Buenos Aires. I still cherish the words of Blessed John Paul II to the young people on that occasion: "I have great hope in you! I hope above all that you will renew your fidelity to Jesus Christ and to his redeeming Cross" (Address to Young People, Buenos Aires, 11 April 1987).


Before I continue, I would like to call to mind the tragic accident in French Guiana in which young Sophie Morinière was killed and other young people were wounded.

I invite all of you to observe a minute’s silence and to pray for Sophie, for the wounded, and for their families.

This year, World Youth Day comes to Latin America for the second time. And you, young people, have responded in great number to the invitation extended by Pope Benedict XVI to celebrate this occasion. We express to him our heartfelt thanks. I am looking at the large crowd before me – there are so many of you! And you have come from every continent! In many cases you have come from afar, not only geographically, but also existentially, culturally, socially and humanly. But today you are all here, or better yet, we are all here together as one, in order to share the faith and the joy of an encounter with Christ, of being his disciples. This week Rio has become the centre of the Church, its heart both youthful and vibrant, because you have responded generously and courageously to the invitation that Christ has made to you to be with him and to become his friends.

The train of this World Youth Day has come from afar and has travelled across all of Brazil following the stages of the project entitled "Bota fé – put on faith!" Today the train has arrived at Rio de Janeiro. From Corcovado, Christ the Redeemer embraces us and blesses us. Looking out to this sea, the beach and all of you gathered here, I am reminded of the moment when Jesus called the first disciples to follow him by the shores of Lake Tiberias. Today Christ asks each of us again: Do you want to be my disciple? Do you want to be my friend? Do you want to be a witness to my Gospel? In the spirit of The Year of Faith, these questions invite us to renew our commitment as Christians. Your families and local communities have passed on to you the great gift of faith, Christ has grown in you. I have come today to confirm you in this faith, faith in the living Christ who dwells within you, but I have also come to be confirmed by the enthusiasm of your faith!

I greet you with great affection. To all of you assembled here from the five continents and, through you, to all young people of the world, and in particular to those who have not been able to come to Rio de Janeiro but who are following us by means of radio, television and internet, I say: Welcome to this immense feast of faith! In several parts of the world, at this very moment, many young people have come together to share this event: let us all experience the joy of being united with each other in friendship and faith. And be sure of this: my pastoral heart embraces all of you with universal affection. From the summit of the mountain of Corcovado, Christ the Redeemer welcomes you to this beautiful city of Rio!

I wish to extend greetings to the President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko, and to all who work with him. I thank Archbishop Orani João Tempesta, of São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro, for the warm welcome given to me and for the considerable work of preparation for this World Youth Day, together with the many Dioceses of this vast country of Brazil. I would also like to express my gratitude to all the national, state and local authorities and to those who have worked to make possible this unique moment of celebration of unity, faith and fraternity. Thank you to my brother Bishops, to the priests, seminarians, consecrated persons and the lay faithful that have accompanied the young from various parts of the world on their pilgrimage to Jesus. To each and every one of you I offer my affectionate embrace in the Lord.

Brothers and sisters, dear friends, welcome to the XXVIII World Youth Day in this marvellous city of Rio de Janeiro!

POPE'S SPEECH

Dear Friends,

"It is good for us to be here!", Peter cries out after seeing the Lord Jesus transfigured in glory. Do we want to repeat these words with him? I think the answer is yes, because here today, it is good for all of us to be gathered together around Jesus! It is he who welcomes us and who is present in our midst here in Rio. In the Gospel we have heard God the Father say: "This is my Son, my chosen one; listen to him!" (Lk 9:35). If it is Jesus who welcomes us, we too ought to welcome him and listen to his words; it is precisely through the welcome we give to Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, that the Holy Spirit transforms us, lights up our way to the future, and enables us joyfully to advance along that way with wings of hope (cf. Lumen Fidei, 7).

But what can we do? "Bota fé – put on faith". The World Youth Day Cross has proclaimed these words throughout its pilgrimage in Brazil. "Put on faith": what does this mean? When we prepare a plate of food and we see that it needs salt, well, we "put on" salt; when it needs oil, then you "put on" oil. "To put on", that is, to place on top of, to pour over. And so it is in our life, dear young friends: if we want it to have real meaning and fulfilment, as you want and as you deserve, I say to each one of you, "Put on faith", and your life will take on a new flavour, it will have a compass to show you the way; "put on hope" and every one of your days will be enlightened and your horizon will no longer be dark, but luminous; "put on love", and your life will be like a house built on rock, your journey will be joyful, because you will find many friends to journey with you. Put on faith, put on hope, put on love!

But who can give us all this? In the Gospel we have just heard the answer: Christ. "This is my Son, my chosen one. Listen to him!" Jesus is the one who brings God to us and us to God. With him, our life is transformed and renewed, and we can see reality with new eyes, from Jesus’ standpoint, with his own eyes (cf. Lumen Fidei, 18). For this reason, I want to insist with you today: "Put on Christ!" in your life, and you will find a friend in whom you can always trust; "put on Christ" and you will see the wings of hope spreading and letting you journey with joy towards the future; "put on Christ" and your life will be full of his love; it will be a fruitful life.

Today, I would like each of us to ask sincerely: in whom do we place our trust? In ourselves, in material things, or in Jesus? We are all tempted to put ourselves at the centre, to think that we alone build our lives or that our life can only be happy if built on possessions, money, or power. But it is not so. Certainly, possessions, money and power can give a momentary thrill, the illusion of being happy, but they end up possessing us and making us always want to have more, never satisfied. "Put on Christ" in your life, place your trust in him and you will never be disappointed! You see how faith accomplishes a revolution in us, one which we can call Copernican, because it removes us from the centre and restores it to God; faith immerses us in his love and gives us security, strength, and hope. To all appearances, nothing has changed; yet, in the depths of our being, everything is different. Peace, consolation, gentleness, courage, serenity and joy, which are all fruits of the Holy Spirit (cf. Gal 5:22), find a home in our heart, and our very being is transformed; our way of thinking and acting is made new, it becomes Jesus’ own, God’s own, way of thinking and acting. During the Year of Faith, this World Youth Day is truly a gift offered to us to draw us closer to the Lord, to be his disciples and his missionaries, to let him renew our lives.

Dear young people: "Put on Christ" in your lives. In these days, Christ awaits you in his word; listen carefully to him and your heart will be warmed by his presence; "Put on Christ": he awaits you in the sacrament of Penance, to heal by his mercy the wounds caused by sin. Do not be afraid to ask God’s forgiveness! He never tires of forgiving us, like a father who loves us. God is pure mercy! "Put on Christ": he is waiting for you in his flesh in the Eucharist, the sacrament of his presence and his sacrifice of love, and in the humanity of the many young people who will enrich you with their friendship, encourage you by their witness to the faith, and teach you the language of charity, goodness and service.

You too, dear young people, can be joyful witnesses of his love, courageous witnesses of his Gospel, carrying to this world a ray of his light.

"It is good for us to be here", putting on Christ in our lives, putting on the faith, hope and love which he gives us. Dear friends, in this celebration we have welcomed the image of Our Lady of Aparecida. With Mary, may we be disciples and missionaries. Like her, may we say "Yes" to God. Let us ask that her maternal heart intercede for us, so that our hearts may be open to loving Jesus and making others love him. He is waiting for us, and he is counting on us. Amen.



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Friday 26 July 2013

Pope Francis in Copacabana: 'make Christ the center of your lives!'

Pope Francis had his first official encounter with over one million pilgrims attending WYD at Rio's Copacabana beach. After a long journey in his popemobile through the cheering crowds, who didn't seem to mind the bad weather, Pope Francis reached the main stage for the celebration.


There, he was welcomed by an extraordinary outburst of color and music, as a group of 150 youths staged a special choreography. Then, five of them, representing each part of the world, officially welcomed the Pope to Rio. Pope Francis then thanked everyone for the celebration by addressing the crowd. In his speech, he made a special mention of his predecessor, who summoned WYD when he was still in office.

POPE FRANCIS
“ We thank him with all our hearts, he invited us here today, we send him our greetings and a big applause. You know that before coming to Brazil I spoke to him and asked him to accompany me on the journey with prayer, and he said he would, and that he would also watch us on TV. So now he is watching us!”

Then the Pope was personally greeted by five youths. Music continued as the statue of Our Lady of Aparecida was brought on the stage and another group staged a representation of the Way of the Cross. The Pope then gave another speech, in which he encouraged all youths to 'put Christ' at the center of their lives.' This, and not material wealth, the Pope said, is the only way to lead a fruitful existence.

POPE FRANCIS
“Worldly possessions, money and power can offer a moment of intoxication, the illusion of being happy, but in the end they dominate us and lead us to ask for more each time, to never being satisfied. And we end up feeling full, but not nourished. It's very sad to see youths that are full, but weak. Youths must be strong, take nourishment from their faith and not gorge on other things!”

After the Pope's speech, the celebration continued with the Prayer of the Faithful and the sung 'Our Father' Prayer. Then, Pope Francis proceeded to bless the crowd, who responded with a truly enthusiastic applause.



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Friday 26 July 2013

Change of Plans for WYD: Bad weather prompts change of venue

Bringing hundreds of thousands of people under one same roof, is never easy. That's especially true if the weather isn't that great. World Youth Day's Organizing Committee decided that due to the constant rain, the closing ceremony will no longer be at Rio's 'Guaratiba' open air field.



Days of heavy showers have turned the area into a massive puddle. So now, Saturday's Vigil and the Pope's Sunday's Mass, will no longer take place there.

Instead, those closing events will be moved to Copacabana, the same exact spot where Pope Francis was welcomed by thousands of youths on Thursday night. The space is smaller and unfortunately there won't be room for all the pilgrims. Some had planned on spending the night there out on the beach on Saturday, to save a spot for Sunday's Mass. But now, organizers say that won't be an option.

Rio de Janeiro mayor, Eduardo Paes is hopeful. He said local authorities will rise to the occasion adding that no more problems are expected because of the rainy weather.

Since the start of WYD, the rain and wind has posed a challenge, with hundreds of thousands of youths braving the weather event after event. It's been a similar case for the Pope. On Wednesday, he flew to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Aparecida on a plane, instead of a helicopter because of the strong winds.

On Thursday, the satellite connection of the Pope's welcoming ceremony was cut off, because of a weather complication. So, now, organizers are doing everything they can to make sure the closing events go on smoothly as possible.



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Friday 26 July 2013

Crowd gives Pope a warm welcome as he leads the Angelus Prayer

A cheerful crowd waited for Pope Francis outside the Archbishop's Palace in Rio. Thousands sang and cheered for him, as they waited for the Pope to celebrate the Angelus Prayer.



Friday afternoon marks the Pope's fifth day in Brazil. Despite a week of rainy weather, the skies were nice and clear, as the Pope led the prayer. With thousands gathered, the Pope called on the youth to embrace and strengthen their relationship with their grandparents.



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Friday 26 July 2013

Pope to Youth: The bond with grandparents, the elderly is a gift. Treasure it

Amid cheers, music and a lot of enthusiasm, thousands of people came out to celebrate the Angelus along with the Pope. Up from the balcony of the Archbishop's Palace, the Pope talked about the need to combine the energy of the youth with the wisdom of the elderly.



POPE FRANCIS
“How important grandparents are for family life, for passing on the human and religious heritage which is so essential for each and every society! How important it is to have intergenerational exchanges and dialogue, especially within the context of the family.”


July 26th marks the feast day of Mary's parents, St. Joachim and St. Anne. Pope Francis encouraged the youth to embrace a relationship with older generations, who have the wisdom of life and of faith. He described the bond as a treasure and he even sent out a greeting to all
grandparents.


POPE FRANCIS
“In this World Youth Day, young people wish to acknowledge and honor their grandparents. They salute them with great affection and they thank them for the ongoing witness of their wisdom.”

With thousands of people out in the open air square, the Pope highlighted the important role of the family, adding that it's in the home where one first receives both love and faith.



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Friday 26 July 2013

Pope leads Way of the Cross: What does the Cross teach us? Much more than Sacrifice

As he addressed hundreds of thousands of youths in Brazil's Copacabana beach, the Pope asked faithful to ponder on what the Cross means to them in their daily lives. The Pope added that through the Cross, Jesus shows his unity and support, especially during challenging times. The Pope then asked pilgrims how they live out their faith with a simple question: “'Dear Friends, the Cross of Christ teaches us to be like Simon of Cyrene, who helped Jesus to carry that heavy wood; it teaches us to be like Mary and the other women, who were not afraid to accompany Jesus all the way to the end, with love and tenderness. And you? Who are you like? Like Pilate? Like Simon? Like Mary?.'”


POPE'S TRANSLATED SPEECH

Dear Young Friends,

We have come here today to accompany Jesus on his journey of sorrow and love, the Way of the Cross, which is one of the most intense moments of World Youth Day. At the end of the Holy Year of Redemption, Blessed John Paul II chose to entrust the Cross to you, young people, asking you "to carry it throughout the world as a symbol of Christ’s love for humanity, and announce to everyone that only in the death and resurrection of Christ can we find salvation and redemption" (Address to Young People, 22 April 1984). Since then, the World Youth Day Cross has travelled to every continent and through a variety of human situations. It is, as it were, almost "steeped" in the life experiences of the countless young people who have seen it and carried it. No one can approach and touch the Cross of Jesus without leaving something of himself or herself there, and without bringing something of the Cross of Jesus into his or her own life. I have three questions that I hope will echo in your hearts this evening as you walk beside Jesus: What have you left on the Cross, dear young people of Brazil, during these two years that it has been crisscrossing your great country? What has the Cross of Jesus left for you, in each one of you? Finally, what does this Cross teach us?

1. According to an ancient Roman tradition, while fleeing the city during the persecutions of Nero, Saint Peter saw Jesus who was travelling in the opposite direction, that is, toward the city, and asked him in amazement: "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus’ response was: "I am going to Rome to be crucified again." At that moment, Peter understood that he had to follow the Lord with courage, to the very end. But he also realized that he would never be alone on the journey; Jesus, who had loved him even unto death on the Cross, would always be with him. Jesus, with his Cross, walks with us and takes upon himself our fears, our problems, and our sufferings, even those which are deepest and most painful. With the Cross, Jesus unites himself to the silence of the victims of violence, those who can no longer cry out, especially the innocent and the defenceless; with the Cross, he is united to families in trouble, those who mourn the loss of their children, or who suffer when they see them fall victim to false paradises, such as that offered by drugs. On the Cross, Jesus is united with every person who suffers from hunger in a world where tons of food are thrown out each day; on the Cross, Jesus is united with those who are persecuted for their religion, for their beliefs or simply for the colour of their skin; on the Cross, Jesus is united with so many young people who have lost faith in political institutions, because they see in them only selfishness and corruption; he unites himself with those young people who have lost faith in the Church, or even in God because of the counter-witness of Christians and ministers of the Gospel. The Cross of Christ bears the suffering and the sin of mankind, including our own. Jesus accepts all this with open arms, bearing on his shoulders our crosses and saying to us: "Have courage! You do not carry your cross alone! I carry it with you. I have overcome death and I have come to give you hope, to give you life" (cf.Jn 3:16).

2. And so we can answer the second question: What has the Cross given to those who have gazed upon it or touched it? What has it left in each one of us? It gives us a treasure that no one else can give: the certainty of the unshakable love which God has for us. A love so great that it enters into our sin and forgives it, enters into our suffering and gives us the strength to bear it. It is a love which enters into death to conquer it and to save us. The Cross of Christ contains all the love of God, his immeasurable mercy. This is a love in which we can place all our trust, in which we can believe. Dear young people, let us entrust ourselves to Jesus, let us give ourselves over entirely to him (cf. Lumen Fidei, 16)! Only in Christ crucified and risen can we find salvation and redemption. With him, evil, suffering, and death do not have the last word, because he gives us hope and life: he has transformed the Cross from an instrument of hate, defeat and death into a sign of love, victory and life.

The first name given to Brazil was "The Land of the Holy Cross". The Cross of Christ was planted five centuries ago not only on the shores of this country, but also in the history, the hearts and the lives of the people of Brazil and elsewhere. The suffering Christ is keenly felt here, as one of us who shares our journey even to the end. There is no cross, big or small, in our life which the Lord does not share with us.

3. But the Cross of Christ invites us also to allow ourselves to be smitten by his love, teaching us always to always look upon others with mercy and tenderness, especially those who suffer, who are in need of help, who need a word or a concrete action which requires us to step outside ourselves to meet them and to extend a hand to them. How many people were with Jesus on the way to Calvary: Pilate, Simon of Cyrene, Mary, the women… Sometimes we can be like Pilate, who did not have the courage to go against the tide to save Jesus’ life, and instead washed his hands. Dear friends, the Cross of Christ teaches us to be like Simon of Cyrene, who helped Jesus to carry that heavy wood; it teaches us to be like Mary and the other women, who were not afraid to accompany Jesus all the way to the end, with love and tenderness. And you? Who are you like? Like Pilate? Like Simon? Like Mary?

Dear friends, let us bring to Christ’s Cross our joys, our sufferings and our failures. There we will find a Heart that is open to us and understands us, forgives us, loves us and calls us to bear this love in our lives, to love each person, each brother and sister, with the same love. Amen!



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Friday 26 July 2013

Pope arrives to Copacabana to lead Way of the Cross ceremony

Pope Francis was surrounded by thousands of youths, who welcomed him with loud cheers, as he made his way through the streets surrounding Brazil's Copacabana beach.

After blessing a few children, the Pope got out of the popemobile, to bless sick pilgrims, who were anxiously waiting for his arrival. The Pope then walked towards a St. Francis of Assisi statue, praying before it, blessing it and placing a white dove on it.



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Friday 26 July 2013

Youths from all over the world, act of Way of the Cross ceremony in Copacabana

The Pope arrived to Copacabana to lead the Way of the Cross ceremony. Throughout 13 stations, 280 youths from Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and the U.S acted out the stations of the Cross as a prayer was read.



On the 14th station, they met with Pope Francis on the main stage. The prayer of each station, focused on a specific issue that affects today's youth, including issues like parenting, violence, illnesses and vocation life.



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Friday 26 July 2013

Pope in Copacabana: From the hungry, to the disillusioned, the Cross leads to hope

The coastline along Brazil's Copacabana beach became a site of prayer, as thousands of youths from every corner of the world took part in the Way of the Cross ceremony. In an artistic setting, with warm colors and moving moments, 13 stations were led by pilgrims from Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Germany and the U.S. On the 14th station they arrived to the main stage, where they met with Pope Francis. During his speech, he said, the Cross, means much more than what meets the eye.



POPE FRANCIS
“With the Cross, Jesus unites Himself to the silence of the victims of violence, those who can no longer cry out, especially the innocent and the defenseless; with the Cross, he is united to families in trouble, those who mourn the loss of their children, or who suffer when they see them fall victim to false paradises, such as that offered by drugs.”

The prayers of every station focused on issues related to the youth, including challenges faced by young mothers, terminal illnesses, conversion, the defense of life, incarceration, vocations and student life. The Pope explained that through the Cross, Jesus shows His support. Everyone from the hungry, to those who have lost their faith in the Church.

POPE FRANCIS
“On the Cross, Jesus is united with those who are persecuted for their religion, for their beliefs or simply for the color of their skin; on the Cross, Jesus is united with so many young people who have lost faith in political institutions, because they see in them only selfishness and corruption. He unites himself with those young people who have lost faith in the Church, or even in God because of the counter-witness of Christians and ministers of the Gospel.”

The Cross that was carried throughout the stations, is the one John Paul II gave to WYD when he launched the celebration decades ago. The Pope added that the Cross is much more than a symbol of sacrifice, the Cross, he said is hope.

POPE FRANCIS
“I ask you here today, who do you want to be like? Do you want to be like Pilot who didn't show the strength to stand up and save Jesus' life, choosing instead to wash his hands. Tell me, are the type that doesn't get involved? Do you look the other way? Or are you like Cyrene who helps Jesus to carry the heavy Cross?”

As he addressed hundreds of thousands of youths, Pope said that evil, suffering and even death don't have the last word, because Jesus, he said, gives hope and life. He explained that even the Cross, which was a symbol of hate and defeat, was turned into a symbol of victory and love.



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Saturday 27 July 2013

Pope's Homily in Rio: Preach the Gospel out on the streets

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in Rio de Janeiro's St. Sebastian Cathedral, along with hundreds of bishops, seminarians and religious. Some of them specifically traveled to Brazil for World Youth Day. During his homily the Pope encouraged them to go beyond their parish walls to proclaim the Gospel. He also said they must show the courage to stand up against a culture that welcomes only what's convenient.

POPE'S HOMILY:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Seeing this Cathedral full of Bishops, priests, seminarians, and men and women religious from the whole world, I think of the Psalmist’s words from today’s Mass: "Let the peoples praise you, O God" (Ps 66). We are indeed here to praise the Lord, and we do so reaffirming our desire to be his instruments so that not only some peoples may praise God, but all. With the same parrhesia of Paul and Barnabas, we proclaim the Gospel to our young people, so that they may encounter Christ, the light for our path, and build a more fraternal world. I wish to reflect with you on three aspects of our vocation: we are called by God, called to proclaim the Gospel, and called to promote the culture of encounter.

1. Called by God – It is important to rekindle an awareness of our divine vocation, which we often take for granted in the midst of our many daily responsibilities: as Jesus says, "You did not choose me, but I chose you" (Jn 15:16). This means returning to the source of our calling. At the beginning of our vocational journey, there is a divine election. We were called by God and we were called to be with Jesus (cf. Mk 3:14), united with him in a way so profound that we are able to say with Saint Paul: "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (Gal 2:20). This living in Christ, in fact, marks all that we are and all that we do. And this "life in Christ" is precisely what ensures the effectiveness of our apostolate, that our service is fruitful: "I appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide" (Jn 15:16). It is not pastoral creativity, or meetings or planning that ensure our fruitfulness, but our being faithful to Jesus, who says insistently: "Abide in me and I in you" (Jn 15:4). And we know well what that means: to contemplate him, to worship him, to embrace him, especially through our faithfulness to a life of prayer, and in our daily encounter with him, present in the Eucharist and in those most in need. "Being with" Christ does not isolate us from others. Rather, it is a "being with" in order to go forth and encounter others. This brings to mind some words of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta: "We must be very proud of our vocation because it gives us the opportunity to serve Christ in the poor. It is in the favelas, in the cantegriles, in the villas miseria, that one must go to seek and to serve Christ. We must go to them as the priest presents himself at the altar, with joy" (Mother’s Instructions, I, p. 80). Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is our true treasure. Let us try to unite our hearts ever more closely to his (cf. Lk 12:34).

2. Called to proclaim the Gospel – dear Bishops and priests, many of you, if not all, have accompanied your young people to World Youth Day. They too have heard the mandate of Jesus: "Go and make disciples of all nations" (cf. Mt 28:19). It is our responsibility to help kindle within their hearts the desire to be missionary disciples of Jesus. Certainly, this invitation could cause many to feel somewhat afraid, thinking that to be missionaries requires leaving their own homes and countries, family and friends. I remember the dream I had when I was young: to be a missionary in faraway Japan. God, however, showed me that my missionary territory was much closer: my own country. Let us help our young people to realize that the call to be missionary disciples flows from our baptism and is an essential part of what it means to be a Christian. We must also help them to realize that we are called first to evangelize in our own homes and our places of study and work, to evangelize our family and friends.


Let us spare no effort in the formation of our young people! Saint Paul uses a beautiful expression that he embodied in his own life, when he addressed the Christian community: "My little children, with whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you" (Gal 4:19). Let us embody this also in our own ministry! Let us help our young people to discover the courage and joy of faith, the joy of being loved personally by God, who gave his Son Jesus for our salvation. Let us form them in mission, in going out and going forth. Jesus did this with his own disciples: he did not keep them under his wing like a hen with her chicks. He sent them out! We cannot keep ourselves shut up in parishes, in our communities, when so many people are waiting for the Gospel! It is not enough simply to open the door in welcome, but we must go out through that door to seek and meet the people! Let us courageously look to pastoral needs, beginning on the outskirts, with those who are farthest away, with those who do not usually go to church. They too are invited to the table of the Lord.


3. Called to promote the culture of encounter – Unfortunately, in many places, the culture of exclusion, of rejection, is spreading. There is no place for the elderly or for the unwanted child; there is no time for that poor person on the edge of the street. At times, it seems that for some people, human relations are regulated by two modern "dogmas": efficiency and pragmatism. Dear Bishops, priests, religious and you, seminarians who are preparing for ministry: have the courage to go against the tide. Let us not reject this gift of God which is the one family of his children. Encountering and welcoming everyone, solidarity and fraternity: these are what make our society truly human.


Be servants of communion and of the culture of encounter! Permit me to say that we must be almost obsessive in this matter. We do not want to be presumptuous, imposing "our truths". What must guide us is the humble yet joyful certainty of those who have been found, touched and transformed by the Truth who is Christ, ever to be proclaimed (cf. Lk 24:13-35).
Dear brothers and sisters, we are called by God, called to proclaim the Gospel and called to promote with courage the culture of encounter. May the Virgin Mary be our exemplar. In her life she was "a model of that motherly love with which all who join in the Church’s apostolic mission for the regeneration of humanity should be animated" (Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic ConsPope Francis celebrated Mass in Rio de Janeiro's St. Sebastian Cathedral, along with hundreds of bishops, seminarians and religious. Some of them specifically traveled to Brazil for World Youth Day. During his homily the Pope encouraged them to go beyond their parish walls to proclaim the Gospel. He also said they must show the courage to stand up against a culture that welcomes only what's convenient. titution Lumen Gentium, 65). May she be the Star that surely guides our steps to meet the Lord. Amen.



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Saturday 27 July 2013

Pope to Bishops: Show courage. Stand up against a culture that only seeks convenience

As part of the Year of Faith and of course World Youth Day, Pope Francis celebrated a Mass with hundreds of bishops, priests, seminarians and religious, in Rio's St. Sebastian Cathedral.

During his homily, the Pope said they need to be aware of their divine vocation, so they can spread the Gospel efficiently.

POPE FRANCIS
“It is not pastoral creativity, or meetings or planning that ensure our fruitfulness. They do help a lot, but it's all about being faithful to Jesus.”

When it comes to living out the Gospel, the Pope said, they must help young people understand that evangelizing doesn't have to mean leaving one's country. Evangelizing he said, can be at home, with friends, at work and with the family. Once again, he encouraged priests to go beyond the parish walls.

POPE FRANCIS
“Jesus did this with his own disciples: He did not keep them under His wing like a hen with her chicks. He sent them out! We cannot keep ourselves closed off in parishes, in our communities, when so many people are waiting for the Gospel.”

The Pope then added that they must show courage and actively reject a growing culture that promotes what's convenient and not what's right. He added that in a society where there is no room for the elderly or the unwanted child, they must take a stand and speak out.

POPE FRANCIS
“Read the first book of the Maccabees. It describes how they wanted to be in tune with the culture of the time. They said, culture, sure let's take a bit of everything like everyone else. Laws? Sure, just as long as it's not too much. But in time, they began to lose their faith because they tried to be compatible with the culture of that time. Have the strength to go against this. Stand up against a culture that only accepts what's convenient and throws out the rest.”

Towards the end of his homily, the Pope prayed to Our Lady, so she may guide them in their vocation.



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Saturday 27 July 2013

Massive Crowds greet Pope Francis as he leaves Rio's Cathedral

After celebrating Mass with bishops, priests and seminarians in Rio's Sao Sebastiao Cathedral, the Pope stopped to greet the thousands of people who gathered around him. As usual, he took the time to personally speak to some of them.

Outside the cathedral, a red carpet was prepared for the Pope, as he was saluted by guards. Then, on his popemobile, the Pontiff made his way to his next appointment at Rio's Municipal Theater. Along the way, he was followed by great crowds, and often stopped to personally bless some children.



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Saturday 27 July 2013

Pope Francis receives musical greeting at Rio's Municipal Theater

Upon his arrival at Rio's Municipal Theater, where he was scheduled to meet Brazil's political leaders, Pope Francis was welcomed by the Theater’s symphonic orchestra.

The orchestra played one classical music tune before the arrival of Pope Francis. Then, as the Pope walked onto the stage, the musicians played the official hymn of WYD, though arranged in a 'classical' manner.



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Saturday 27 July 2013

Pope Francis greets a group of indigenous people in Brazil

At the end of his meeting with Brazil's religious and political leaders, Pope Francis was greeted by a group of indigenous people. The Pope briefly wore one of their traditional hats, as the crowd cheered on.



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Saturday 27 July 2013

Pope to politicians: You have a responsibility with society, but above all else, with God

As an orchestra played the official World Youth Day Hymn, Pope Francis walked onto the stage at Rio's city theater, to address Brazilian political and cultural leaders. There, he reminded them that they should embrace dialogue with one another, despite their political differences.

POPE FRANCIS
“Between selfish indifference and violent protest there is always another possible option: that of dialogue. Dialogue between generations, dialogue with the people, the capacity to give and receive, while remaining open to the truth."

When it comes to making laws, the Pope said they should not forget that they have moral responsibility with society and with future generations. This too, said the Pope, has a religious dimension.

POPE FRANCIS
“To act responsibly is to see one’s own actions in the light of other people’s rights and God’s judgment. To preserve this ethical sense appears today as an unprecedented historic challenge. Beyond scientific and technical competence, the present situation also demands a sense of moral obligation expressed in a social and deeply fraternal exercise of responsibility.”

Towards the end of his speech, there were some endearing moments. A group of girls, who take dancing classes, surrounded the Pope. Moments later, a young girl, walked up to him, and gave him a bouquet of flowers, as the crowd cheered.

Twenty political and cultural leaders got to greet the Pope personally afterward. Among the group, he blessed a pregnant mother and her unborn child. Then, he greeted a group of indigenous people, who seemed very moved. One of them, even gave him his decorative hat, which the Pope briefly wore.





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Re: July 2013

Postby Sonia » Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:28 pm

Here are all the Rome Reports videos with special thanks and kind permission from Rome Reports TV News Agency

Saturday 27 July 2013

Pope Francis arrives to Copacabana Beach. Briefly wears Sombrero and plays drums

Pope Francis was greeted by over 1 million youths in Rio's Copacabana beach, before leading Saturday's World Youth Day prayer vigil.

As he made his way through the city's coastline in the popemobile, the Pope made a few stops to greet pilgrims and bless children. He also briefly wore a Mexican sombrero that was given to him by a pilgrim, and a few minutes later he playfully prayed some drums with this hands.
The vigil was originally set to take place in the city's Campus Fidei Guaratiba open air field, but due to the heavy rains, it was moved to Copacabana beach.



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Saturday 27 July 2013

Millions of youths celebrate Vigil with Pope Francis

As part of World Youth Day's Vigil, a group of youths assembled a parish on Copacabana's main stage, to symbolically represent the Christian community. Towards the end of the vigil, the group dismantled the set up parish, symbolizing their will to go out and live out their faith in their respectives countries.

Pope Francis and millions of youths from every corner of the world, listened in as speakers gave powerful testimonies of how their Christian faith helped them overcome life's challenges.



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Saturday 27 July 2013

Pope Francis to youths: Be true 'athletes of Christ!'

Pope Francis met with over a million pilgrims at Copacabana beach to lead the prayer vigil, one of the most eagerly awaited events of WYD 2013. The celebration was originally meant to take place at Rio's Campus Fidei esplanade, but this week's bad weather forced organizers to change the venue.

In his speech, Pope Francis used unusual metaphors. He asked youths to 'train' their faith, just as soccer players do with their skills. The reward, the Pope said, is 'much greater than winning the World Cup'. The Pope also invited the pilgrims to be authentic Christians and to welcome Christ in their lives.

POPE'S SPEECH

Dear Young Friends,

We have just recalled the story of Saint Francis of Assisi. In front of the crucifix he heard the voice of Jesus saying to him: "Francis, go, rebuild my house". The young Francis responded readily and generously to the Lord’s call to rebuild his house. But which house? Slowly but surely, Francis came to realize that it was not a question of repairing a stone building, but about doing his part for the life of the Church. It was a matter of being at the service of the Church, loving her and working to make the countenance of Christ shine ever more brightly in her.
Today too, as always, the Lord needs you, young people, for his Church. Today too, he is calling each of you to follow him in his Church and to be missionaries. How? In what way? Starting with the name of the place where we are,Campus Fidei, the field of faith, I have thought of three images that can help us understand better what it means to be a disciple and a missionary. First, a field is a place for sowing seeds; second, a field is a training ground; and third, a field is a construction site.

1. A field is a place for sowing seeds. We all know the parable where Jesus speaks of a sower who went out to sow seeds in the field; some seed fell on the path, some on rocky ground, some among thorns, and could not grow; other seed fell on good soil and brought forth much fruit (cf.Mt13:1-9). Jesus himself explains the meaning of the parable: the seed is the word of God sown in our hearts (cf. Mt13:18-23). This, dear young people, means that the realCampus Fidei, the field of faith, is your own heart, it is your life. It is your life that Jesus wants to enter with his word, with his presence. Please, let Christ and his word enter your life, blossom and grow. Jesus tells us that the seed which fell on the path or on the rocky ground or among the thorns bore no fruit. What kind of ground are we? What kind of terrain do we want to be? Maybe sometimes we are like the path: we hear the Lord’s word but it changes nothing in our lives because we let ourselves be numbed by all the superficial voices competing for our attention; or we are like the rocky ground: we receive Jesus with enthusiasm, but we falter and, faced with difficulties, we don’t have the courage to swim against the tide; or we are like the thorny ground: negativity, negative feelings choke the Lord’s word in us (cf. Mt 13:18-22). But today I am sure that the seed is falling on good soil, that you want to be good soil, not part-time Christians, not "starchy" and superficial, but real. I am sure that you don’t want to be duped by a false freedom, always at the beck and call of momentary fashions and fads. I know that you are aiming high, at long-lasting decisions which will make your lives meaningful. Jesus is capable of letting you do this: he is "the way, and the truth, and the life" (Jn 14:6). Let’s trust in him. Let’s make him our guide!

2. A field is a training ground. Jesus asks us to follow him for life, he asks us to be his disciples, to "play on his team". I think that most of you love sports! Here in Brazil, as in other countries, football is a national passion. Now, what do players do when they are asked to join a team? They have to train, and to train a lot! The same is true of our lives as the Lord’s disciples. Saint Paul tells us: "athletes deny themselves all sorts of things; they do this to win a crown of leaves that withers, but we a crown that is imperishable" (1 Cor 9:25). Jesus offers us something bigger than the World Cup! He offers us the possibility of a fulfilled and fruitful life; he also offers us a future with him, an endless future, eternal life. But he asks us to train, "to get in shape", so that we can face every situation in life undaunted, bearing witness to our faith. How do we get in shape? By talking with him: by prayer, which is our daily conversation with God, who always listens to us. By the sacraments, which make his life grow within us and conform us to Christ. By loving one another, learning to listen, to understand, to forgive, to be accepting and to help others, everybody, with no one excluded or ostracized. Dear young people, be true "athletes of Christ"!

3. A field is a construction site. When our heart is good soil which receives the word of God, when "we build up a sweat" in trying to live as Christians, we experience something tremendous: we are never alone, we are part of a family of brothers and sisters, all journeying on the same path: we are part of the Church; indeed, we are building up the Church and we are making history. Saint Peter tells us that we are living stones, which form a spiritual edifice (cf. 1 Pet 2:5). Looking at this platform, we see that it is in the shape of a church, built up with stones and bricks. In the Church of Jesus, we ourselves are the living stones. Jesus is asking us to build up his Church, but not as a little chapel which holds only a small group of persons. He asks us to make his living Church so large that it can hold all of humanity, that it can be a home for everyone! To me, to you, to each of us he says: "Go and make disciples of all nations". Tonight, let us answer him: Yes, I too want to be a living stone; together we want to build up the Church of Jesus! Let us all say together: I want to go forth and build up the Church of Christ!
In your young hearts, you have a desire to build a better world. I have been closely following the news reports of the many young people who throughout the world have taken to the streets in order to express their desire for a more just and fraternal society. But the question remains: Where do we start? What are the criteria for building a more just society? Mother Teresa of Calcutta was once asked what needed to change in the Church. Her answer was: you and I!
Dear friends, never forget that you are the field of faith! You are Christ’s athletes! You are called to build a more beautiful Church and a better world. Let us lift our gaze to Our Lady. Mary helps us to follow Jesus, she gives us the example by her own "yes" to God: "I am the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me as you say" (Lk 1:38). All together, let us join Mary in saying to God: let it be done to me as you say. Amen!



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Saturday 27 July 2013

Pope to Youths: Don't let life pass you by. Just like Jesus, take action!

They didn't mind the wind or the cold weather. On the beach at Brazil's Copacabana, at least two million youths welcomed Pope Francis for the prayer vigil, one of the most eagerly awaited events of WYD.

To get the celebration underway, a group of youths assembled a parish in front of the Pope, representing how each person contributes in making the church a reality. The youths also performed a reenactment of Francis of Assisi's life, and various pilgrims shared how faith allowed them to overcome difficult moments in their lives.

In his speech, Pope Francis asked pilgrims a very direct question, about how they live out their Christian faith.

POPE FRANCIS
“In my heart, do I have the tendency to go from one side to other? Do I respond to God and then to the devil? Do we seek God's seed while watering the thorns and weeds that grow in our hearts? Think about it, and respond in silence.”

The Pope then posed a very special metaphor. Since Brazil loves soccer so much, Pope Francis told the youths that they should 'train' their faith, just as soccer players train their skills. The reward, the Pope said, is far greater than winning the World Cup. But Pope Francis also offered the pilgrims some precious advice on how to follow Jesus.

POPE FRANCIS
“Jesus offers us something bigger than the World Cup! He offers us the possibility of a fulfilled and fruitful life; he also offers us a future with him, an endless future, eternal life. To follow Christ, we need these spiritual exercises: prayer, the Sacraments and helping others. Let's all repeat this. Prayer, Sacraments and helping others. I can't hear you, again: 'Prayer, Sacraments and helping others.'

Then, the Pope went on to tell the youths they should actively build a truly Christian society, adding they cannot let life pass them by.

POPE FRANCIS
“I ask you all to be protagonists of change. Continue to overcome apathy by offering a Christian response to political and social struggles, that are a reality in different parts of the world. I ask you to build the future. Make the world a better place. Please don't see life from afar. Live it. Jesus didn't stay out in a balcony. Instead, He got involved. Follow Jesus' example.”

To the thousands of youths present at Copacabana, and to all those who couldn't make it to Brazil, Pope Francis made a very special request. He asked them help build a Church that welcomes all of mankind. By quoting the Gospel, he invited everyone to 'go, and make disciples of all nations.”



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Sunday 28 July 2013

Millions come out to greet Pope, as WYD comes to a close. Pope takes break and drinks Maté

Rio's Copacabana beach became a pilgrimage site, with millions of people coming out to greet Pope Francis for World Youth Day's closing Mass. From afar, one could see swarms of people, lining the coastline and cheering for the Argentinian Pope.

In addition to greeting pilgrims and blessing children from the popemobile, the Pope took a pause to drink some maté, the traditional Argentinian tea, which was offered to him by a pilgrim.

Sunday marks the Pope's last day in Brazil.



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Sunday 28 July 2013

Massive Flash Mob performed for Pope Francis

Millions of pilgrims took part in the world's largest flash mob, by performing a simple dance for the Pope. In fact, the title of the song they danced to is called 'Francis.' Before celebrating Sunday's closing Mass in Rio's Copacabana beach, millions of youths took a few minutes to carry out the performance.

The choreography was created by two Brazilian professional dancers, who actually created a video beforehand, so people could practice the moves, before the big day.



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Sunday 28 July 2013

Pope's WYD Homily: 'Go, do not be afraid, and serve'

As World Youth Day came to a close, Pope Francis celebrated a Mass with millions of youths along Rio's Copacabana beach. During his homily, Pope Francis encouraged the youth to 'go and make disciples of all nations,' adding that they now have the responsibility to share their experience with their community and in essence with the world.

With millions of people taking part in the Mass, the Pope added, 'Careful, though! Jesus did not say: 'if you would like to, if you have the time', but: 'Go and make disciples of all nations.' Sharing the experience of faith, bearing witness to the faith, proclaiming the Gospel: this is a command that the Lord entrusts to the whole Church, and that includes you.'

POPE'S TRANSLATED HOMILY

Brother Bishops and Priests,
Dear Young Friends,
"Go and make disciples of all nations". With these words, Jesus is speaking to each one of us, saying: "It was wonderful to take part in World Youth Day, to live the faith together with young people from the four corners of the earth, but now you must go, now you must pass on this experience to others." Jesus is calling you to be a disciple with a mission! Today, in the light of the word of God that we have heard, what is the Lord saying to us? Three simple ideas: Go, do not be afraid, and serve.
1. Go. During these days here in Rio, you have been able to enjoy the wonderful experience of meeting Jesus, meeting him together with others, and you have sensed the joy of faith. But the experience of this encounter must not remain locked up in your life or in the small group of your parish, your movement, or your community. That would be like withholding oxygen from a flame that was burning strongly. Faith is a flame that grows stronger the more it is shared and passed on, so that everyone may know, love and confess Jesus Christ, the Lord of life and history (cf. Rom 10:9).
Careful, though! Jesus did not say: "if you would like to, if you have the time", but: "Go and make disciples of all nations." Sharing the experience of faith, bearing witness to the faith, proclaiming the Gospel: this is a command that the Lord entrusts to the whole Church, and that includes you; but it is a command that is born not from a desire for domination or power but from the force of love, from the fact that Jesus first came into our midst and gave us, not a part of himself, but the whole of himself, he gave his life in order to save us and to show us the love and mercy of God. Jesus does not treat us as slaves, but as free men, as friends, as brothers and sisters; and he not only sends us, he accompanies us, he is always beside us in our mission of love.
Where does Jesus send us? There are no borders, no limits: he sends us to everyone. The Gospel is for everyone, not just for some. It is not only for those who seem closer to us, more receptive, more welcoming. It is for everyone. Do not be afraid to go and to bring Christ into every area of life, to the fringes of society, even to those who seem farthest away, most indifferent. The Lord seeks all, he wants everyone to feel the warmth of his mercy and his love.
In particular, I would like Christ’s command: "Go" to resonate in you young people from the Church in Latin America, engaged in the continental mission promoted by the Bishops. Brazil, Latin America, the whole world needs Christ! Saint Paul says: "Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!" (1 Cor 9:16). This continent has received the proclamation of the Gospel which has marked its history and borne much fruit. Now this proclamation is entrusted also to you, that it may resound with fresh power. The Church needs you, your enthusiasm, your creativity and the joy that is so characteristic of you. A great Apostle of Brazil, Blessed José de Anchieta, set off on the mission when he was only nineteen years old. Do you know what the best tool is for evangelizing the young? Another young person. This is the path to follow!
2. Do not be afraid. Some people might think: "I have no particular preparation, how can I go and proclaim the Gospel?" My dear friend, your fear is not so very different from that of Jeremiah, a young man like you, when he was called by God to be a prophet. We have just heard his words: "Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth". God says the same thing to you as he said to Jeremiah: "Be not afraid ... for I am with you to deliver you" (Jer 1:7,8). He is with us!
"Do not be afraid!" When we go to proclaim Christ, it is he himself who goes before us and guides us. When he sent his disciples on mission, he promised: "I am with you always" (Mt 28:20). And this is also true for us! Jesus does not leave us alone, he never leaves you alone! He always accompanies you.
And then, Jesus did not say: "One of you go", but "All of you go": we are sent together. Dear young friends, be aware of the companionship of the whole Church and also the communion of the saints on this mission. When we face challenges together, then we are strong, we discover resources we did not know we had. Jesus did not call the Apostles to live in isolation, he called them to form a group, a community. I would like to address you, dear priests concelebrating with me at this Eucharist: you have come to accompany your young people, and this is wonderful, to share this experience of faith with them! But it is a stage on the journey. Continue to accompany them with generosity and joy, help them to become actively engaged in the Church; never let them feel alone!
3. The final word: serve. The opening words of the psalm that we proclaimed are: "Sing to the Lord a new song" (Psalm 95:1). What is this new song? It does not consist of words, it is not a melody, it is the song of your life, it is allowing our life to be identified with that of Jesus, it is sharing his sentiments, his thoughts, his actions. And the life of Jesus is a life for others. It is a life of service.
In our Second Reading today, Saint Paul says: "I have made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more" (1 Cor 9:19). In order to proclaim Jesus, Paul made himself "a slave to all". Evangelizing means bearing personal witness to the love of God, it is overcoming our selfishness, it is serving by bending down to wash the feet of our brethren, as Jesus did.

Go, do not be afraid, and serve. If you follow these three ideas, you will experience that the one who evangelizes is evangelized, the one who transmits the joy of faith receives joy. Dear young friends, as you return to your homes, do not be afraid to be generous with Christ, to bear witness to his Gospel. In the first Reading, when God sends the prophet Jeremiah, he gives him the power to "pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant" (1:10). It is the same for you. Bringing the Gospel is bringing God’s power to pluck up and break down evil and violence, to destroy and overthrow the barriers of selfishness, intolerance and hatred, so as to build a new world. Jesus Christ is counting on you! The Church is counting on you! The Pope is counting on you! May Mary, Mother of Jesus and our Mother, always accompany you with her tenderness: "Go and make disciples of all nations". Amen.



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Sunday 28 July 2013

It's official: Next WYD to take place in Krakow, Poland in 2016!

Just as his final WYD Mass was drawing to a close, Pope Francis announced that the next WYD celebration will take place in Krakow, Poland, in 2016. With roughly 3million pilgrims, the announcement was marked by loud cheers and applause.



Blessed John Paul II launched WYD. In a way this location will honor the Polish Pope, especially since he was very fond of the city, having served as its archbishop from 1964 to 1978.





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Re: July 2013

Postby Sonia » Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:54 pm

Here are all the Rome Reports videos with special thanks and kind permission from Rome Reports TV News Agency

Sunday 28 July 2013

Pope Francis to the youths: 'The Church needs your enthusiasm!"

Rio's Copacabana beach turned into a pilgrimage site, filled with music, color and joy. More than 3 million people attended the final act of WYD as Pope Francis celebrated the closing Mass. During his homily, the Pope urged all pilgrims to 'go, and evangelize the whole world.'



POPE FRANCIS
“The experience of this encounter must not remain locked up in your life or in the small group of your parish, your movement, or your community. That would be like withholding oxygen from a flame that's burning.”


The Pope's Mass was also attended by Latin American political leaders. Among them, the President of Brazil, Dilma Roussef, but also Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, President of Argentina and Evo Morales, President of Bolivia.

The Pope had a very specific message for Latin American youths, asking them to be protagonists in the world's evangelization.

POPE FRANCIS
“This continent has received the proclamation of the Gospel which has marked its history and borne much fruit. Now this proclamation is entrusted also to you, that it may resound with fresh power. The Church needs you, your enthusiasm, your creativity and the joy that is so characteristic of you.”

The Pope then summed up his homily into three key ideas: “go, don't be afraid, and serve.” Their mission, the Pope told the youths, must be carried out in a community, since Jesus, the Pope said, did not want his disciples to live isolated. The Pope also thanked the priests for their work, as they help the faithful to “actively engage in the Church.”



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Sunday 28 July 2013

Krakow to host WYD 2016: Blessed John Paul II felt 'at home' in that Polish city

The Polish city of Krakow will be the venue of the next WYD in 2016. The announcement was made by Pope Francis during the closing Mass of WYD 2013. The last Pope to visit Poland was Benedict XVI back in 2006.



It was a few months ago, when the city's current archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, who was also John Paul II's secretary, announced that the city was being considered to host the massive event.

The decision will serve as a homage to the Polish Pope, who served as archbishop of the city from 1964 till 1978. First of all, because it was John Paul II who launched WYD, and also because the city had a special place in his heart. He often said, that in Krakow, he felt at home. Out of nine trips he made to his home country, he visited that city four times. The last visit was in 2002, three years before his death.



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Sunday 28 July 2013

Pope thanks more than 15,000 WYD volunteers

Pope Francis met with more than 15,000 volunteers, to thank them for making World Youth Day a successful reality.

As the Pope thanked the massive crowd in an open air field, he asked the pilgrims to think carefully about their personal vocation in life. Whether it be marriage, a religious vocation or a different path altogether.

Given the fact that the next World Youth Day will be celebrated in Krakow, Poland in 2016, the Pope was given a sports jersey with his name on it.

POPE'S SPEECH:

Dear Volunteers,
Good evening!

I could not return to Rome without first thanking all of you in a personal and affectionate way for the work and dedication with which you have accompanied, helped, and served the thousands of young pilgrims, and for the countless little ways by which you have made this World Youth Day an unforgettable experience of faith. With your smiles, your acts of kindness and your willingness to serve, you have shown that "it is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).

The service you have given during these days brings to mind the mission of Saint John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus. Every one of you, each in his or her own way, was a means enabling thousands of young people to "prepare the way" to meet Jesus. And this is the most beautiful service we can give as missionary disciples. To prepare the way so that all people may know, meet and love the Lord. To you who in these days responded with such readiness and generosity to the call to be volunteers for World Youth Day, I say: May you always be generous with God and with others: one loses nothing thereby, but gains great enrichment in life.

God calls you to make definitive choices, and he has a plan for each of you: to discover that plan and to respond to your vocation is to move toward personal fulfilment. God calls each of us to be holy, to live his life, but he has a particular path for each one of us. Some are called to holiness through family life in the sacrament of Marriage. Today, there are those who say that marriage is out of fashion; in a culture of relativism and the ephemeral, many preach the importance of "enjoying" the moment. They say that it is not worth making a life-long commitment, making a definitive decision, "for ever", because we do not know what tomorrow will bring. I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries, to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes that you are incapable of responsibility, that you are incapable of true love. I have confidence in you and I pray for you. Have the courage "to swim against the tide". Have the courage to be happy.

The Lord calls some to be priests, to give themselves to him more fully, so as to love all people with the heart of the Good Shepherd. Some he calls to the service of others in the religious life: devoting themselves in monasteries to praying for the good of the world, and in various areas of the apostolate, giving of themselves for the sake of all, especially those most in need. I will never forget that day, 21 September – I was 17 years old – when, after stopping in the Church of San José de Flores to go to confession, I first heard God calling me. Do not be afraid of what God asks of you! It is worth saying "yes" to God. In him we find joy!

Dear young people, some of you may not yet know what you will do with your lives. Ask the Lord, and he will show you the way. The young Samuel kept hearing the voice of the Lord who was calling him, but he did not understand or know what to say, yet with the help of the priest Eli, in the end he answered: Speak, Lord, for I am listening (cf. 1 Sam 3:1-10). You too can ask the Lord: What do you want me to do? What path am I to follow?

Dear friends, I thank you once more for all you have done during these days. Do not forget what you have experienced here! You can always count on my prayers, and I know I can count on yours.



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Sunday 28 July 2013

Pope Francis to Latin American bishops: It's time to heal wounds

As part of his World Youth Day visit to Brazil, Pope Francis held a meeting with bishops of Latin America's Episcopal Conference, also known as CELAM. During his speech, the Pope talked about the 'Aparecida' document, that was drafted back in 2007

That document, includes the situation of the Church in Latin American, and it specifically outlines goals to revitalize the faith. As a reminder, the Pope said the Church is a mother, who must heal the wounds.

POPE FRANCIS

“I would say this is our priority. It's a lot more complex, but at its core it's the apostleship of Mercy. The merciful dimension of the Mother Church. It's the motherhood of the Church that heals wounds and helps. I was talking about yesterday with Brazilian Bishops. Right now, we're living a time period that's full of wounds. People who partially left the Church, left and then came back. It's easy to think, 'well, we have to do develop a course about this and that', but no...after a battle, the first priority is to heal wounds. The pastoral mission of the Church is to heal."

Pope Francis also talked about the looming dangers of using the message of the Gospel as an ideology. To avoid this, the Pope called on bishops to focus their activity on a quote 'revolution of tenderness'. Using a bit of humor, the Pope asked bishops to be close to people and to love the Church, both in the good times and the bad.

POPE FRANCIS

“We can't be men who think and behave like 'princes'. Men who are not ambitious and are married to one Church, but at the same time are waiting for another. In this respect we can't have polygamist bishops, right? They are married to one Church, but have their eyes set on that promotion.”

At the end of his speech, the Pope emphasized that a bishop should guide his community, and not be authoritarian towards it. Then, the Pope also asked his fellow bishops to pay special attention to their homilies so they can be relatable and not detached and abstract.



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Sunday 28 July 2013

Pope Francis bids farewell to Brazil:'See you soon!'

Shortly after his meeting with WYD volunteers, Pope Francis took a short helicopter flight to Rio's International Airport for the closing ceremony of WYD 2013. In his brief speech, the Pope thanked everyone. First and foremost, he thanked the country's political and religious authorities. The Pope also recalled the various stages of his trip, saying he will cherish them back in Rome. He also thanked the youth for their energy, joyful spirit and service. Once again, Pope Francis asked everyone for their prayers.



POPE'S SPEECH:
Madam President,

Distinguished National, State and Local Authorities,

Dear Archbishop of São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro,

Dear Cardinals and Brother Bishops,


Dear Friends,

I am about to leave your country to return to Rome. I depart with many happy memories which I know will nourish my prayers. Already I am beginning to miss Brazil, this great people showing so much affection and friendship. I shall miss the natural and warm smiles I have seen in so many faces, and the enthusiasm shown by the volunteers. I shall miss the hope filling the eyes of the young people in the Hospital of Saint Francis. I shall miss the faith and joy shown by the residents of Varginha in the midst of their hardship. I know that Christ is truly present in the lives of countless young people and in the lives of many whom I have met during this unforgettable week. Thank you for the warm welcome and the friendship that have been offered to me. This too I shall miss.




In particular, I would like to thank Madam President for expressing the sentiments of the entire population of Brazil towards the Successor of Peter. I warmly extend gratitude to my brother Bishops and to their many collaborators for making this week a splendid celebration of the richness and joy of our faith in Jesus Christ. I thank all those who took part in the eucharistic celebrations and other events, and I thank those who organized them and those who worked to broadcast them through the media. Finally, I wish to thank all those who in one way or another rose to the challenge of hosting and organizing the large numbers of young people. And not least my gratitude goes to the many people who prayed, often in silence and simplicity, for this World Youth Day to be an authentic experience of growth in faith. May God reward all of you, as only he can!




As I express my thanks and bid farewell, my thoughts turn to those who are at the heart of these celebrations: the young people! May God bless you for the beautiful witness of your lives and for your intense and joyful participation over these last few days. Many of you came here as disciples; I have no doubt that all of you will leave as missionaries. Through your joyful witness and service, help to build a civilization of love. Show, by your life, that it is worth giving your time and talents in order to attain high ideals, it is worth recognizing the dignity of each human person, and it is worth taking risks for Christ and his Gospel. It is he that we have come to seek because he first sought us. It is he who has inflamed our hearts with the desire to take the Good News to the large cities and to the small communities, to the countryside and to all the corners of this vast planet. I will always place my hopes in the young people of Brazil and in the young around the world: through them, Christ is preparing a new springtime all over the earth. I have seen its first fruits and I know that others will joyfully reap the full harvest.



Finally, my thoughts turn to Our Lady of Aparecida, to whom I also bid farewell. In that beloved Shrine I knelt to pray for the entire human family and in particular for all Brazilians. I implored Mary to strengthen you in the Christian faith, which forms part of the noble soul of Brazil, as indeed of many other countries; this faith is your culture’s treasure and serves as encouragement and support in the task of building a renewed humanity in harmony and solidarity.

As he departs, the Pope says to all of you affectionately: "see you soon". He asks you not to forget to pray for him. The Pope needs the prayers of all of you. I offer you an affectionate embrace. May God bless you!



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Sunday 28 July 2013

Pope shows his love, by outlining a heart by helicopter's window

As he boarded a helicopter to meet with World Youth Day volunteers in Rio, Pope Francis made the sign of the Cross, before taking off. Then a few moments later, as crowds bid him farewell, the Pope used his fingers to outline a heart, by the helicopter's window.



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Sunday 28 July 2013

Pope to WYD volunteers: Marriage, Vocational life or still undecided? Ask God for guidance

As he concluded his first international trip in Brazil, Pope Francis took a brief helicopter flight to a congress center in the Brazilian city of Rio. There he met with 15,000 volunteers who helped organizing WYD. The youths gave Pope Francis a very warm welcome. A Polish girl also gave him a t-shirt with his name, as a gift.

Speaking in Portuguese, the Pope addressed the audience with a brief speech, often interrupted by the cheering crowd. The Pope focused on three points, analyzing the main commitments youths have to face in life. Some choose to be priests or enter a monastery, or religious life. They, the Pope said, should 'not be afraid to answer God' call'. Others choose married life: that too, the Pope said, is a great responsibility.

POPE FRANCIS
“I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries, to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes that you are incapable of responsibility, that you are incapable of true love. I have confidence in you and I pray for you. Have the courage "to swim against the tide.”

For those who still haven't decided what path to follow in life, as advice, Pope Francis cited a Bible passage

POPE FRANCIS
“Ask the Lord, and he will show you the way. The young Samuel kept hearing the voice of the Lord who was calling him, but he did not understand or know what to say, yet with the help of the priest Eli, in the end he answered: 'Speak, Lord, for I am listening.' You too can ask the Lord: What do you want me to do?"

At the end of his speech, the Pope thanked everyone for their work and for having made WYD 2013 so special. As usual, once again, he asked for everyone's prayers.

Then, he left for the airport, carrying his personal briefcase.



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Sunday 28 July 2013

Pope's last speech in Brazil: May WYD bear new fruit for the Church

Pope Francis bid farewell to Brazil, describing
his first international trip as Pontiff, as unforgettable trip full of beautiful moments. His brief speech was given at Rio's International airport, where he was welcomed by the country's vice-president, Michel Temer, among other political and religious leaders.

In his speech, the Pope thanked everyone who contributed in making WYD 2013 in Rio such a special occasion. The Pope described the event as an 'authentic experience of growth in faith”. Then, he directly addressed the youths, saying they were the real protagonists of WYD.


POPE FRANCIS
“May God bless you for the beautiful witness of your lives and for your intense and joyful participation over these last few days. Many of you came here as disciples; I have no doubt that all of you will leave as missionaries.”

Pope Francis went on to praise those who took part in the event, especially for taking time to work on big goals and high ideals. He also said he hopes the seeds of World Youth Day bear fruit and trigger a new spring.

POPE FRANCIS

“I will always place my hopes in the young people of Brazil and in the young around the world: through them, Christ is preparing a new springtime all over the earth. I have seen its first fruits and I know that others will joyfully reap the full harvest.”


The Pope ended his speech by mentioning Our Lady of Aparecida, to whom he entrusted WYD. Then, after saying he was already beginning to miss Brazil, the Pope, as usual, asked everyone to pray for him and his mission.



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Monday 29 July 2013

Pope Francis talks to press about Benedict XVI, Vatican Bank and 'gay lobby'

While on his way to Brazil, Pope Francis promised journalists, a press conference on his way back to Rome. Despite being tired, he kept his promise. For an hour and 22 minutes, he held a press conference, where nothing was off limits. For the first time he talked about controversial issues like the role of women in the Church, the Vatican Bank and he even talked about the so called 'gay lobby.'


POPE FRANCIS
“Quite a lot has been published about the gay lobby. I have yet to find someone who introduces himself at the Vatican, with a 'gay ID card.' In these situations, it's important to distinguish between a gay person and a gay lobby, because having a lobby is never good. If a gay person, is a person of good will who seeks God, who am I to judge? The catechism of the Church explains this very beautifully. It outlines that gays should not be marginalized.”



POPE FRANCIS
“I don't know how the Vatican Bank will turn out. Some say the best thing is to have a bank, others say it should be a relief fund, others recommend it be closed down. We hear about these options all the time. For now, I trust the work the IOR team is doing. We should seek the best option, but whether it's a bank, a fund, or whatever, it should be based on transparency and honesty. That's how it should be. Thank You."


POPE FRANCIS
“As far as the ordination of women, the Church has already spoken out and the answer is no. John Paul II made the Church's stance definitive. The door is closed. But let me tell you something, Our Lady, was more important than the apostles, bishops, deacons and priests. Women play a role that's more important than that of bishops, or priests. How? This is what we have to explain better publicaly.”


The press also learned that the Pope took immediate action, when a priest, whom he appointed to a high ranking position in the Vatican's Bank, was accused of being previously expelled from a nunciature in Latin America, for allegedly engaging in scandalous conduct.


POPE FRANCIS
“Regarding Bishop Ricca. I did what I had to do under Canon Law, which involves an investigation. The investigation didn't find anything connected to what's been printed. We found nothing. But let me add something about this. So very often, when we look at cases like this, we highlight the sins of youth and make them public. But any person, lay, priests or nun, if any person commits a sin and then asks the Lord for forgiveness, they are forgiven. When the Lord forgives, He forgets. This is very important for our lives. I'm not talking about crimes, that's something different. Child abuse is a crime, but I'm talking about sins.”


He also talked about his working relationship with Benedict XVI and he talked about the date when John Paul II will be canonized, which will most probably be on April 27th and not December 8th as was previously believed.


POPE FRANCIS
“It's like having a grandfather at home. A very wise grandfather. In a family, a grandfather is at home, he is honored, loved and he is listened to. Benedict XVI is a man of great caution ...He doesn't get involved in issues. I've told him many a times, 'Your Holiness, continue with your life, meet with people, come along with us.' He did agree to come to the inauguration of the new St. Michael statue. I think that phrase sums it up: It's like having a grandfather at home. He's like a father. If I'm in a bind, or if I'm faced with something I don't understand, I can call him.”


Just months after becoming Pope, he says he misses the city of Buenos Aires, adding that he would love to go out and walk on the streets. But he says he respects the limits of the Vatican's police.

But in any case, when he does go out, it's quite obvious that he is among the people, up close and personal. He added he's not afraid of attacks, explaining that he thinks it's crazy to be afar from people, to prevent an attack.

The Pope made it clear that he's not afraid of using simple and clear words to get his message across and that will surely give much to talk about in the future.



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Monday 29 July 2013

Pope Francis returns to Rome after WYD 2013! Upon arrival goes to Basilica, to pray to Our Lady

Pope Francis is back in Rome. After leading World Youth Day 2013 in Rio Brazil, with nearly 3 million pilgrims, Pope Francis is now at the Vatican.

The Pope's flight left from Rio's airport and took 11,30 hours. During his trip, the Pope flew over Brazil, Senegal, Mauritania, Algeria and finally Italy, where he landed at Rome's Ciampino airport.

Upon arrival, the Pope went to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, to pray before Our Lady. As a gift, he left a green sports jersey and a beach ball, at her feet, both items directly brought from Rio, Brazil.



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Monday 29 July 2013

Best Image of Pope Francis celebrating World Youth Day

Pope Francis is now back in Rome after celebating World Youth Day in Brazil. His first international trip as pontiff was marked by touching speeches and unforgettable moments.





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Re: July 2013

Postby Mary-Jo » Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:40 pm

This page is very beautiful! I thank you with all my heart for this beautiful page with accurate, wealth of information AND CURRENT! GRAZIE! GRAZIE! DEO GRATIAS! THANK YOU!!!!!!! <3 :-)
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Re: July 2013

Postby Sonia » Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:10 pm

Monday 29 July 2013

Pope Francis arrives in Rome at Ciampino airport after his visit to Rio and is greeted by Archbishop Gänswein.

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Photo Acknowledgement: L'Osservatore Romano

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