VATICAN CITY, August 11, 2014 (Zenit.org) – Pope Francis has said young people must be courageous and never timid in order to make the world a better place.
The Holy Father made these remarks when he telephoned 30,000 guides and scouts of the AGESCI organization gathered in St. Flushing, Pisa, Saturday morning, for the conclusion of its Third National Route, with the theme: “The Road of Courage … Going Toward the Future.”
With more than 177,000 members, the Association of Italian Catholic Guides and Scouts (AGESCI) is a youth organization that aims to contribute to the educational, leisure and extra-curricular activities, training each person according to the principles and method of scouting. Specifically adapted to boys and girls in contemporary Italian society, it was was founded in 1974 as a free educational initiative promoted by believers.
At the end of the celebration of the Mass Saturday, presided over by Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference, the Pope spoke to those present and declared that young people are to be fearless and must “never be stopped,” which would prevent the Church from moving ahead.
Here is the text of the Holy Father’s address:
I greet all of you warmly. And I’m happy for this gathering. Sorry for not being able to come, but I accompany you from here, with great affection. We hope that these roads to courage, which are straight to the future, are for you a great asset. Courage … This is a virtue and an attitude of young people. The world needs young people who are courageous, not fearful. Of young people that move along the road and cannot be stopped: With young people that are stopped, we cannot go ahead! Of young people that always have the horizon to go on and not to go into retirement! It’s sad! It’s sad to see a young person retired. No, the young person must go forward with way of courage. Go ahead you all. This will be your victory, your work to help change this world, to make it so much better. I know that you have reflected on the Apocalypse, thinking of the New City. This is your task: to make a new city. Always go forward with making a new city: with truth, goodness, and the beauty the Lord has given us.
Dear young people, dear boys and girls, I greet you here and I wish you the best. Do not be afraid. Do not be robbed of hope. Life is yours! And it’s yours to make flourish, to give its fruits to all. Humanity looks at us and also looks at you in this way of courage. And remember: retirement comes at 65 years! A young person does not have to retire, ever! You must go forward with courage.
I pray for you and ask the Lord to give you His blessing.
I bless you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
And, please, I ask you to pray for me.