‘Each One of Us Is a Unique Person,’ Pope Tells Young People

This Year’s Motto: ‘Made to Your Measure’

Each One of Us Is a Unique Person
© Vatican Media

“Each One of Us Is a Unique Person,” Pope Francis said on December 18, 2021, when he received in audience, in the Vatican’s Apostolic, a representation of young people of Catholic Action to exchange  Christmas greetings.

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The Pope’s Address

Dear Boys and Girls, welcome!

It’s a joy for me to meet with you in this Christmas gathering, and above all this one [he refers to a boy] <who> is courageous. He will make a fortune in life! Let him go, leave him in peace . . . I like him. Let’s see: he has initiative, he has courage, he is someone who looks for the hidden. This is how you should be, boys and girls: with courage to go forward!

You are accompanied by the national President of Italian Catholic Action, Professor Giuseppe Notarstefano, the General Assistant, Monsignor Gualtiero Sigismondi, together with the national leaders and some educators. I greet them all with all my heart and, through them, I thank the many people that generously dedicate their time and resources to the Association for your formation.

Your journey of faith this year is expressed with the motto “Made to Your Measure,” inspired in tailoring. I like this theme, which recalls clothes made to measure, with accessories adapted to the different persons. It’s lovely because each one of us is a unique person. No two are alike, no: one, unique! We aren’t photocopies, we are all originals! And the bad thing is when we want to imitate others, and do the things that others do, the others, and from originals we become photocopies. That’s bad. Each one must defend his own originality. Blessed Carlo Acutis, your contemporary, often said it. In fact, it’s important that each one of us wear the garment of his originality, of his personality, every day with joy. Just think that, in history, there isn’t or will be ever anyone like you, like you, like you . . .  we are all different. Each person is a unique and unrepeatable beauty. And when someone does bad things, all are a unique and unrepeatable ugliness. Everyone is original, both in the good and in the bad!

This is how Jesus sees you, He loves you exactly as you are, even if someone doesn’t take you into account and might think you count little. Jesus, who came to the world as a boy, believes in a world appropriate for children, adequate for all. He made us understand it on being born in Bethlehem. But even today He makes Himself close to the children of all countries and peoples, and He does so every day. This is God’s style, which is described with three words: closeness, compassion, and tenderness. This is God’s style, no other.

Dear friends, in face of Jesus, who makes Himself close, let us also learn to make ourselves “close,” together with the others, together with family members, with friends, with companions, with the needy. We can always do something for others without waiting for others to do something for us. We can always be missionaries of the Gospel, and be so everywhere, beginning in the environments in which we live: in the family, in school, in the parish, in sports and entertainment venues. However, to do this, to assume Jesus’ style, to be His witnesses, we need to be with Him, make room for Him in our day. And I ask each one of you, boys and girls: do you make room for Jesus in your day, in your work, in your study, in your rest, in your sports? Does Jesus enter there? Don’t be afraid to dedicate time to Him in prayer, that is, to talk with Him — with Jesus — about your friends, to ask Him for help in difficulties, to tell Him when you are happy and when you are sad. And Jesus will make you grow in that nobility that a person has when he takes his own measure of himself.

Today I received the biography of a youth who gave his life — he was 20 — for his country: Gino Pistoni. His Cause of Beatification is underway. And he offered his life with his blood, written with his blood … and, immediately, I thought of you: I’ll take him to the public to talk about this youth. That your life . . . that each one of you may give his life, but well, with all: express yourselves as he expressed himself with his blood, express yourselves with all that you have.

Jesus gives full joy to the heart because only He is capable of making ever new life’s adventure. He never forgets you; He is always ready to encourage you and never ceases to believe in you. We are the ones who forget Him: this happens always . . . He gives you energy, He gives you courage every time you go to encounter Him in the Mass and looks at you with joy, especially when you carry out gestures of sharing and solidarity with others, when you are able to be close to those that are alone, without friends, in difficulty; close to those that suffer, think of them, think of those kids you don’t know many of whom are suffering. Carry them in your heart to talk to Jesus about them. Courage! Have courage in the path of your life. Jesus counts on you!

I thank you and I wish you a happy and holy Christmas. Thank you! Happy Christmas to your families and to all of Catholic Action. I bless you warmly and ask you to pray for me.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester