Dear Young Friends, good evening! At last we are together!

Thank you for your warm welcome! I thank Cardinal Dziwisz, the bishops, priests, men and women religious, the seminarians, lay-faithful, and those who have accompanied you. I am also grateful to all those who made it possible for us to be here today, who “went the extra mile” so that we could celebrate our faith. Today, all of us together, are celebrating our faith! In this, the land of his birth, I especially want to thank Saint John Paul II [loud applause] – louder, louder – who first came up with the idea of these meetings and gave them such momentum. From his place in heaven, he is with us and he sees all of you: so many young people from such a variety of nations, cultures and languages but with one aim, that of celebrating Jesus who is living in our midst. Do you understand this? To celebrate Jesus who is living in our midst! To say that Jesus is alive means to rekindle our enthusiasm in following him, to renew our passionate desire to be his disciples. What better opportunity to renew our friendship with Jesus than by building friendships among yourselves! What better way to build our friendship with Jesus than by sharing him with others! What better way to experience the contagious joy of the Gospel than by striving to bring the Good News to all kinds of painful and difficult situations! And it is Jesus who has called us to this Thirty-first World Youth Day. Jesus tells us: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall find mercy” (Mt 5:7).

Blessed indeed are they who can forgive, who show heartfelt compassion, who are capable of offering the very best to others; the best, not what is left over: the best! Dear young people, in these days Poland, this noble land, is in a festive mood; in these days Poland wants to be the ever-youthful face of mercy. From this land, with you and all those young people who cannot be present today yet join us through the various communications media, we are going to make this World Youth Day an authentic Jubilee celebration, in this Jubilee of Mercy. In my years as a bishop, I have learned one thing, well, I have learned many, but I want to share one with you now: nothing is more beautiful than seeing the enthusiasm, dedication, zeal and energy with which so many young people live their lives. This is beautiful! And where does this beauty come from? When Jesus touches a young person’s heart, he or she becomes capable of truly great things. It is exciting to listen to you share your dreams, your questions and your impatience with those who say that things cannot change. Those whom I call “quietists”: “nothing can change”. No, young people have the strength to challenge them! But… maybe some are not so sure about this… I ask you, and you respond: can things change? [Yes!] I cannot hear you! [Yes!] That’s good. For me, it is a gift of God to see so many of you, with all your questions, trying to make a difference. It is beautiful and heart-warming to see all that restlessness!

Today the Church looks to you, and I would add, the world looks to you, and wants to learn from you, to be reassured that the Father’s Mercy has an ever-youthful face, and constantly invites us to be part of his Kingdom, it is a Kingdom of joy, a Kingdom always joyful, always driving us forward, a Kingdom able to give us the strength to change things. I have forgotten and so I repeat my question to you: can things change? [Yes!] Agreed. Knowing your enthusiasm for mission, I repeat: mercy always has a youthful face! Because a merciful heart is motivated to move beyond its comfort zone. A merciful heart can go out and meet others; it is ready to embrace everyone. A merciful heart is able to be a place of refuge for those who are without a home or have lost their home; it is able to build a home and a family for those forced to emigrate; it knows the meaning of tenderness and compassion. A merciful heart can share its bread with the hungry and welcome refugees and migrants. To say the word “mercy” along with you is to speak of opportunity, future, commitment, trust, openness, hospitality, compassion and dreams. But are you able to dream? [Yes!] When the heart is open and able to dream, there is room for mercy, there is room to caress those who suffer, there is room to draw close to those who have no peace of heart or who do not have the bare necessities to live, or who do not have the most beautiful thing of all: the faith. Mercy. Let us together repeat this word: mercy. All of you! [Mercy!] Again! [Mercy!] And once more, so the whole world can hear you! [Mercy!]. Let me tell you another thing I have learned over these years. I do not want to offend anyone, but it pains me to meet young people who seem to have opted for “early retirement”. This pains me. Young people who seem to retire at 23, 24, 25 years of age.
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27/10/2016 09:00:00



27/10/2016 Apostolic Journey to Poland

27/11/2016 APOSTOLIC JOURNEY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS TO POLAND ON THE OCCASION OF THE XXXI WORLD YOUTH DAY (27-31 JULY 2016)

27/11/2016 APOSTOLIC JOURNEY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS TO POLAND ON THE OCCASION OF THE XXXI WORLD YOUTH DAY (27-31 JULY 2016)

27/04/2015 Community of the Lamb

27/01/2016 Holy Mass with bishops, clergy and of Pennsylvania. 26 september 2015. Apostolic Journey of his Pope Francis to Cuba, to the United States of America (18-28 Setember 2015)