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The Holy Father's Message to the youth for the XXXVIII World Youth Day to be celebrated in particular Churches around the world on the Solemnity of Christ the King, November 26, 2023, is centered upon St. Paul's words to the Romans, "Rejoicing in hope" (cf. Rom 12:12).
These words mark the beginning of a two-year cycle of messages addressed to young people, all connected by the common thread of hope that is the theme of Jubilee 2025: "Pilgrims of Hope." These messages will accompany the youth on their journey to celebrate the Jubilee of Young People in Rome in 2025.
The message was signed on the day of the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, a Roman Cathedral church, where young Romans will celebrate the diocesan WYD together. Likewise, young people around the world are invited to gather around their pastors in their particular Churches.
In his message, Pope Francis reminds young people that they are "the joyful hope of a Church and of a humanity always on the move"; he suggests meditating together on joy and hope, which flow from the Paschal mystery; and reminds them that this hope "is no facile optimism, no placebo for the credulous: it is the certainty, rooted in love and faith, that God never abandons us".
Pope Francis also refers to the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit, whose five-year anniversary of publication will be celebrated in 2024. He emphasizes that that document opens precisely with the proclamation of Christian hope: «Christ is alive! He is our hope, and in a wonderful way he brings youth to our world!» (Christus Vivit, 1).
The Holy Father's invitation is for young people and all youth ministry workers to "reread the Final Document of 2018 and the Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit". "The time," he says, "is ripe to take stock of the situation and to work together with hope for the full implementation of that unforgettable Synod".
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