Pope Francis on Saturday asked Catholic youths to become the influencers of the twenty-first century, like the Virgin Mary who “became the woman who most influenced history.“
On the penultimate day of World Youth Day (WYD) in Panama City, the Pope again used a young language to captivate the audience.
“Maria was a young woman from Nazaré, she did not go to the social networks of the time and she was not an ‘influencer’, but she inadvertently became the woman who most influenced the story,” he said.
“Mary, the ‘influential’ of God,” Francis said, adding that she had the strength to know how to say yes.
For the Pope to be an ‘influencer’ in the twenty-first century means ‘to be a guardian of the roots, guardian of everything that prevents our lives from becoming gas and evaporating into nothing’.
The Pontiff also used to criticize “that it is not giving roots or foundations to the youth“.
“Without education, it is difficult to dream about a future. Without work it is very difficult to have a future, family and being in the community,” he said.
WYD is a gathering of young people from all over the world with the Pope in a festive, religious and cultural atmosphere that shows the dynamism of the Catholic Church.
Held every year at the diocesan level and with a periodic interval of two or three years, in different parts of the world, the journeys were created by Pope John Paul II in 1985.
The World Youth Days kicked off on Tuesday in Panama and will continue until today when the Pope will announce whether the Portuguese candidature was chosen to organize the Journeys in 2022.
In addition to the presence of Pope Francisco, the event was attended by the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who came at the invitation of his Panamanian counterpart Juan Carlos Varela.
The organization of XXXIV World Youth Days expects 200,000 young people from 155 countries, including 300 Portuguese from 12 dioceses and six congregations and movements (Salesians, Neocatechumenal Way, Youth Teams of Our Lady, Vincentian Marian Youth, Schoenstatt and Focolare).
The Portuguese delegation also includes 30 volunteers and six bishops, including Manuel Clemente, Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, Joaquim Mendes, President of the Episcopal Commission of the Laity and Family and Auxiliary Bishop of Lisbon, José Cordeiro, Bishop of Bragança-Miranda, Manuel Felício, bishop of Guarda, Bishop Nuno Almeida, Auxiliary Bishop of Braga and Virgílio Antunes, Bishop of Coimbra.
The World Youth Days are the first moment of global meeting of young people after the synod of bishops dedicated to them, in October 2018, and which reinforced the need to continue to walk with young people.
The Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon made official the request to receive the World Youth Days (WYD) at the end of 2017 and since 2012 at various meetings of the Pontifical Council for the Laity (CPL) of the Vatican, the hypothesis of Portugal has been according to the site.
The previous editions of WYD were held in Cologne, Germany, 2005, Sydney, Australia, 2008, Madrid, 2011, with Pope Benedict XVI in Rio de Janeiro in 2013, and in Krakow, Poland. Poland, in 2016, with the current pontiff.