Be true to yourselves

On May 24, Pope Francis visited a parish on the outskirts of Rome to meet with a group of boys and girls preparing for the 2025 Jubilee.

Jun 07, 2024

Pope Francis meets young Catholics at Rome’s Parish of Saint Bernadette di Soubirous (Vatican Media)

By Linda Bordoni
On May 24, Pope Francis visited a parish on the outskirts of Rome to meet with a group of boys and girls preparing for the 2025 Jubilee. The Holy See Press Office, in a statement by the Dicastery for Evangelisation, announced that the meeting was part of the “School of Prayer” initiative, which prepares young Catholics for the Jubilee Year.

Accompanied by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelisation, the Pope left the Vatican at around 4.00pm and travelled to the Parish of St Bernadette Soubirous in an eastern suburb of the city. The visit was a part of the “Year of Prayer” initiative. During the encounter, the Pope answered questions from the young people about their life of faith and prayer.

Surprise Visit
The Pope’s arrival at the parish was a surprise, and he was warmly welcomed by the young people gathered for their weekly meeting. The group included catechists, youth group leaders, and scouts, who interacted with him and posed several questions.

Tiziano, for example, asked the Pope how to discern one’s vocation. “Each one of us must ask this question,” Pope Francis responded, “because the Lord has a plan for each of us. Everyone must try to understand what the Lord wants from us and ask Him.” He shared his own experience as a young man who began working when he entered the seminary: “Ask the Lord in prayer: what do You want from me?”

The Pope emphasised the importance of friendship and not walking alone. “Sometimes we can get lost in the labyrinths of life. The main thing to get out of a dark moment is not to walk alone, because alone you lose direction. It's important to talk about your situation,” he said.

Get Moving!
To a young man who confessed to not believing in God, the Pope stressed the importance of being on a journey: “No one is condemned if they don’t believe. It’s important to be on the move. If I see a young person who doesn’t move, who just sits there in life, who doesn’t like to move, it’s sad. But if I see a young person who falls into apathy and then moves on, hats off to him. Get moving for an idea!”

Giving Life is a Message of Hope
In a conversation with a young married Archbishop Julian Leow annointing the confirmand with chrism oil. Holy spirit will strengthen the faith of confirmands Be true to yourselves couple, the Pope expressed concern about Italy’s declining birthrate and underscored the importance of giving life, which he described as “a message of great hope.”

Finally, he said that for the Church to be credible, “it must strip itself of all worldliness.” He added, “The values of the Church are those of the Gospel, not those of a society that calls itself Catholic.”

Before concluding, Pope Francis thanked everyone present and gave each of them a copy of the Bull of Indiction of the Jubilee, in the new edition with an introduction by Pro-Prefect Monsignor Rino Fisichella.

Be Authentic!
“Thank you for your testimonies, I am very happy with your authenticity. Keep it up, be true to yourselves, always seeking the path of life,” the Pope concluded. “One piece of advice: take risks for life, with high ideals.”--Vatican News

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