Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pope John Paul II -1993: Denver, Colorado, "Be not Afraid"

"Offer your youthful energies to building a civilization of Christian love. Be witness of God's love for the innocent and the weak, for the poor and oppressed."

"Young people of America and of the world, listen to what Christ the Redeemer is saying to you! 'To all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.' The World Youth Day challenges you to be fully conscious of who you are as God's dearly beloved sons and daughters."

In 1985, Pope John Paul II issued a 15,000 word apostolic letter specifically addressed to the young people of the world. Later that year, he announced his desire for a youth day observance to celebrate the faith of Catholic young people throughout the world. This announcement occurred in an address at the end of 1985, the United Nations' International Youth Year.

For the first celebration of World Youth Day in 1986, bishops all over the world were invited to schedule an annual youth event to be held every Palm Sunday in their dioceses. And, the pope that year addressed his Palm Sunday homily to the world's youth. This first Vatican observance began the series of international youth events, which are now held every other year. Even the Pope himself participates.

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