The International Youth Advisory Body – IYAB meets the Holy Father

A private and moving moment to conclude the mandate of the first members of the Advisory Body


Recently, at the conclusion of their final meeting after a four-year period of activity, the members of the International Youth Advisory Body (IYAB) met with the Holy Father in an informal audience, filled with joy and emotion. Accompanied by the Secretary of the Dicastery, Dr. Gleison De Paula Souza, and the youth office coordinator, Fr. Joao Chagas, the young members were received at Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican.

Preserving the flame of the Synod of Youth and nurturing the desire for synodality

After greeting each one individually, the Holy Father underlined the joy and enthusiasm that the members of the Advisory Body have been able to maintain throughout their four-year mandate, with dedication and a spirit of service.

The young consultants were warmly thanked for their service during a period marked by pandemic, new conflicts, and numerous global challenges. During the meeting, it was emphasized how the Advisory Body has contributed to keeping the flame of the Youth Synod alive, playing a crucial role in fostering a deeper desire for synodality. « The Church needs your momentum, your intuitions, your faith. We need them! And when you arrive where we have not yet reached, have the patience to wait for us » (ChV, 299).

The assitance provided by the IYAB members has borne fruit not only within the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life but they have also become a precious resource within the Roman Curia, as well as in their countries and dioceses.

Encouraged to remain united with Jesus and to be merciful towards others

The youth of the IYAB were thus urged to persevere in their service to the kingdom of God and bear witness to the Gospel, all while staying connected to Jesus like branches to a vine (Jn 15). Walking together requires significant patience, compassion, and mercy towards others, along with understanding for those who progress at a different pace.

Finally, the youth of the Body presented the Pope with a painting they created, inspired by the "Sonnet" of Francisco Luis Bernárdez quoted in Christus Vivit: « For in the end I realized That the blossoms on the tree Draw life from what lies buried beneath » (cf. ChV, 108). The painting depicts a tree on the branches of which each young person has left their imprints and name.

The message embodied in the painting is clear: the youth have a mission, to grow step by step, never forgetting their roots, and to serve others to "bear much fruit." This is the contribution that the IYAB has brought to the Church during these years of service: to build fraternity and a synodal Church rooted in the living Christ.


Established in 2018 following the Youth Synod, the Youth Advisory Body brings together young people from twenty different countries. Its objective is to support the initiatives of the Youth Office of the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life and to collaborate with it in reflections related to youth.

L'incontro dell'IYAB con papa Francesco


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30 November 2023