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    » 08/17/2014, 00.00


    Pope tells Asia's young people to wake up and not to be afraid to bring faith to society

    At the final Mass of the sixth Asian Youth Day Francis took the opportunity to spur young Asians. "Wake up!" he told them. The martyrs who defeated death speak "to you of a duty, a responsibility" to bring Christ to every reach of Asia. You "are not only a part of the future of the Church; you are also a necessary and beloved part of the Church's present." The next Asian Youth Day is set for 2017 in Indonesia.

    Daejeon (AsiaNews) - "Wake up! Don't sleep, wake up!" Pope Francis told some 10,000 young people gathered in Haemi Castle, a shrine dedicated to Korean martyrs, during the concluding Mass of the Sixth Asian Youth Day.

    "Young people of Asia," Pope Francis said, "you are the heirs of a great testimony, a precious witness to Christ. He is the light of the world; he is the light of our lives! The martyrs of Korea - and innumerable others throughout Asia - handed over their bodies to their persecutors; to us they have handed on a perennial witness that the light of Christ's truth dispels all darkness, and the love of Christ is gloriously triumphant."

    Bishops from many Asian countries have joined Pope Francis at the altar for this great and joyous moment for the Church in Asia. Vatican Secretary of State Mgr Pietro Parolin, and the President of the Federation of Asian Conference, Archbishop of Mumbai Card Oswald Gracias, co-celebrated the Mass with the Holy Father.

    The "consolation" of the martyrs' witness, which ensure the victory of life over death, however, was not the only theme of the occasion. "The other part of this Day's theme - Asian Youth! Wake up! - speaks to you of a duty, a responsibility."

    Indeed, "The Asian continent, imbued with rich philosophical and religious traditions, remains a great frontier for your testimony to Christ, 'the way, and the truth and the life'. As young people not only in Asia, but also as sons and daughters of this great continent, you have a right and a duty to take full part in the life of your societies. Do not be afraid to bring the wisdom of faith to every aspect of social life!"

    However, for the Holy Father, youth is not a blank cheque, or just hope, for "you are not only a part of the future of the Church; you are also a necessary and beloved part of the Church's present!"

    "Wake up! Don't sleep, wake up!" the pope added when he turned to the third part of the topic of the day. "It is the duty to be vigilant, not to allow the pressures, the temptations and the sins of ourselves or others to dull our sensitivity to the beauty of holiness, to the joy of the Gospel," he said off the cuff in English. "No one who sleeps can sing, dance or rejoice."

    "Dear young people of Asia," Francis said in concluding, "it is my hope that, in union with Christ and the Church, you will take up this path, which will surely bring you much joy. Now, as we approach the table of the Eucharist, let us turn to our Mother Mary, who brought Jesus to the world. Yes, Mother Mary, we long to have Jesus; in your maternal affection help us to bring him to others, to serve him faithfully, and to honour him in every time and place, in this country and throughout Asia."

    After the Mass, Mgr Peter Kang U-il, President of the Korean Bishops' Conference, delivered a thank you speech, as did Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai card. Gracias, who told the gathering that the upcoming Asian Youth Day would be held in 2017 in Indonesia.

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    See also

    17/08/2014 KOREA - VATICAN - AYD
    Pope ready to talk to countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Vatican
    "I earnestly hope that those countries of your continent with whom the Holy See does not yet enjoy a full relationship, may not hesitate to further a dialogue for the benefit of all," the pope said during a meeting with Asian bishops. The pontiff also mentioned the many nameless martyrs of the faith, who died for the Gospel in Asia and "deserve our love." For Gwangju archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joon, the meeting was "brotherly and friendly". As he "walked about us [. . .] he spoke instead of staying on the stage," spending "a few minutes with each of us." He is a "trailblazer even in the Church."

    17/08/2014 KOREA - VATICAN - AYD
    Card Tagle: pope urges us to be more and more missionary, engage non-believers in dialogue
    Speaking to AsiaNews, the archbishop of Manila talks about this morning's meeting with Francis in Haemi shrine. "The Church in Asia, which includes many distinct communities and groups, should focus too much on numbers and statistics. We must be ever more open to others, even and especially to non-believers. This is the invitation the pope engraved in our hearts."

    17/08/2014 KOREA - VATICAN - AYD
    Card Gracias: the Church's "small engine" in Asia can generate huge changes
    The Archbishop of Mumbai told AsiaNews that "Francis encouraged us, boosting our hope and confidence. Whilst it is true that in this continent we are few, a minority, it is equally true that from a small engine huge changes can come."

    17/08/2014 KOREA - CHINA - VATICAN - AYD
    Some 300 young Chinese Catholics attend gathering with Francis
    A large number of participants from mainland China attend final Asian Youth Day Mass despite threats and attempts by Chinese authorities to stop them. Through social networks, they agreed to come to South Korea to show Francis their love.

    30/07/2016 14:56:00 WYD
    Pope: the disciple of Jesus goes into the world to serve and live as a witness to the Gospel

    Francis celebrated Mass at the sanctuary dedicated to Saint John Paul II. "Jesus sends. From the beginning, he wants his to be a Church on the move, a Church that goes out into the world. And he wants it to do this just as he did. He was not sent into the world by the Father to wield power, but to take the form of a slave; he came not “to be served, but to serve”. He also “wants hearts that are open and tender towards the weak, never hearts that are hardened. He wants docile and transparent hearts that do not dissimulate before those whom the Church appoints as our guides.”

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