At 11:00 this morning, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe, the Pope presided at Mass in the Cathedral of Asti, to meet the diocesan community from which the fathers had left to immigrate to Argentina and the young people of the whole region on the occasion of the XXXVII World Youth Day which is being celebrated today in the particular Churches.
At the end of the Eucharistic celebration, the Holy Father led the Angelus prayer with the faithful and pilgrims.
We publish below the words of the Holy Father in the Angelus prayer:
At the end of this Celebration, I would like to express my gratitude to the Diocese, to the Province, and to the City of Asti. Thank you for the warm welcome you have given me! I am also very grateful to the civil and religious authorities for the preparations that made this awaited visit possible. I would like to say to all of you that I was pleased to meet you[spoken in dialect: a la fame propri piasi’ encuntreve!]; and I wish you all the best [in dialect: ch’a staga bin!]!
I would like to extend a special thought and send my love to the young people – thank you for having come out in such numbers! As of last year, the local Churches observe World Youth Day specifically on the Solemnity of Christ the King. The theme, the same as the next World Youth Day in Lisbon – I renew my invitation that you participate in it – is “Mary arose and went with haste” (Lk 1:39). Our Lady did this when she was young, and she tells us that the secret to remaining young is found precisely in those two verbs, to arise and to go. I like to think of Our Lady who went in haste. She really went quickly; she went in haste. And many times, I pray to Our Lady: “Hey, hurry up and resolve this problem!” To arise and to go – not to stay still thinking about ourselves, wasting our lives and chasing after comforts or the latest fads, but to aim for the heights, get on the move, leaving behind our own fears to take someone in need by the hand. And today, we need young people who are truly “transgressives”, young people who are truly “transgressives”, non-conformists, who are not slaves to their mobile phones, but who change the world like Mary, bearing Jesus to others, taking care of others, building fraternal communities with others, making dreams of peace come true!
Right now, we are living a famine of peace: we are living a famine of peace. Let’s think of how many places in the world are scourged by war, in particular of war-torn Ukraine. Let’s roll our sleeves and continue to pray for peace! Let us also pray for the families of the victims of the serious fire that happened in these past days in a refugee camp in Gaza, in Palestine, where several children also died. May the Lord welcome into heaven those who lost their lives and console those people who have suffered years of conflct. And let us now invoke the Queen of Peace, Our Lady, to whom this beautiful Cathedral is dedicated. To her, let us entrust our families, the sick, and each one of us, with the worries and good intentions we bear in our hearts.