Vatican City, 14 April 2014 (VIS) – Following the solemn liturgical celebration of Palm Sunday, the Pope prayed the Angelus with the seventy thousand faithful present in St- Peter's Square and, before the Marian prayer, he greeted the 250 delegates, bishops, priests, religious and laypeople who participated during these days in the meeting for the World Youth Day organised by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

“In this way there begins the path of preparation for the next world meeting that will take place in July 2016 in Krakow on the theme 'Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy'. Before long the young Brazilians will deliver to the Polish youth the Cross of the World Youth Days. It was Blessed John Paul II who entrusted the Cross to the young thirty years ago: he asked them to take it all over the world as a sign of Christ's love for humanity. On 27 April we will have the joy of celebrating the canonization of this Pope, along with John XXIII. John Paul II, who initiated the World Youth Days, will become its great patron; in the communion of saints he will continue to be a father and a friend for the young of the world. Let us ask the Lord that the Cross, along with the icon of Mary 'Salus Populi Romani', be a sign of hope for all, revealing Christ's invincible love to the world”.

Following these words, the World Youth Day Cross was consigned, and Pope Francis added, “I greet all Romans and all pilgrims, and I greet in particular the delegations from Rio de Janeiro and Krakow, led by their archbishops, Cardinals Orani Joao Tempesta and Stanislaw Dziwisz. In this context, I have the joy of announcing that, God willing, on 15 August at Daejeon, in the Republic of Korea, I will meet with the young of Asia in their great continental meeting”.

“And now, let us turn to the Virgin Mary, so that she might help us always to follow Jesus' example faithfully”.

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