21 March 2017
“The Mighty One has done great things for me” (Lk 1:49).
Message of His Holyness Pope Francis for the 32nd World Youth Day
Today, 21 March 2017, the Holy Father’s Message to young people has been published. The Message is in preparation for the 32nd World Youth Day in 2017 which will be celebrated at the diocesan level on Palm Sunday on the theme: “The Mighty One has done great things for me” (Lk 1:49).
This year, to encourage wider dissemination of the Message, Pope Francis decided to present it to young people around the world by video. He speaks of some issues addressed in the document and invites young people to embark on a journey of spiritual preparation towards the next international celebration of World Youth Day which will be held in Panama from 22 to 27 January 2019.
Dear young people,
With the memory vividly in our minds of our meeting together at World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow, we have set out towards the next goal that will be, God willing, Panama in 2019. These moments of encounter and conversation with you are very important to me. I want this journey to proceed in line with preparations for the next Synod of Bishops because it is dedicated to you young people.
We are accompanied on this journey by Our Mother the Virgin Mary. She encourages us with her faith, the same faith that she expressed in her song of praise. Mary said, “The Mighty One has done great things for me” (Lk 1:49). She knew how to give thanks to God who looked upon her littleness, and she recognised the great things that God was accomplishing in her life. So she set off to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was old and needed her to be close by. Mary did not stay at home because she was not a young couch potato who looks for comfort and safety where nobody can bother them. She was moved by faith because faith is at the heart of Our Mother’s entire life story.
Dear young people, God is also watching over you and calling you, and when God does so, he is looking at all the love you are able to offer. Like the young woman of Nazareth, you can improve the world and leave an imprint that makes a mark on history ‒ your history and that of many others. The Church and society need you. With your plans and with your courage, with your dreams and ideals, walls of stagnation fall and roads open up that lead us to a better, fairer, less cruel and more humane world.
As you follow this path, I encourage you to cultivate a relationship of familiarity and friendship with Our Lady. She is our Mother. Speak to her as you would to a Mother. Together with her, give thanks for the precious gift of faith that you have received from your elders, and entrust your whole life to her. She is a good Mother who listens to you and embraces you, who loves you and walks together with you. I assure you that if you do that, you will not regret it.
Have a good pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2019. May God bless you all.