Pope challenges young people

Addressing the crowd after the "Regina Coeli" in St. Peter's on Sunday April 22, Pope Francis challenged the young people there to listen to Christ's invitation to follow him closely.

From the Pope

April 22, 2013. (Romereports.com) St. Peter's Square rang out with the words and the overwhelming responses Pope Francis had from youth. Once again, the overflow of pilgrims at St. Peter's made it necessary to cut off traffic along Pius XII Square. 

During the Regina Coeli, the Pope broke through the distance between himself and the square, and began his conversation with young pilgrims.   

POPE FRANCIS

 “I would like to ask you: have you sometimes heard the voice of the Lord which through a desire, a certain restlessness, invites you to follow Him more closely? Have you heard it? I can’t hear you…there you are! Have you had any desire to be apostles of Jesus? Youth must spend itself for high ideals. Do you think so? Do you agree? Ask Jesus what he wants from you and be brave! Be brave, ask Him!!!” 

The Pope, who had ordained 10 new priests earlier that morning, recalled that behind every vocation, there is always a person, a grandmother, parents and a community that prays. He added that vocations are born in prayer and through prayer. 

The enthusiasm for the Pope from the young people at the square stood out, but he asked for signs of affection for another person. 

POPE FRANCIS 

“Thank you very much for the greetings, but also greet Jesus, call out 'Jesus' loudly.” 

Pope Francis also asked for prayers for Venezuelans, who have witnessed increased violence after closely divided elections. 

POPE FRANCIS 

“I call the beloved Venezuelan people, especially institutional authorities and politicians to firmly reject any type of violence, and to establish a dialogue based on truth, in mutual recognition, in the search for the common good and love for the nation.” 

In addition, the Pope also spoke about the victims of the strong earthquake in China, that killed 200 people and injured thousands. 

POPE FRANCIS

“My thoughts also go to those who were affected by the earthquake that struck an area south-west of mainland China. We pray for the victims and for those who are suffering because of the violent earthquake.” 

Among the greetings, the Pope also singled out a group of young people from Venice. He closed off the gathering with pilgrims at St. Peter's Square in his now-typical farewell. 

POPE FRANCIS 

“I wish you all a good Sunday, have a good lunch!”