(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has urged the new generations of Albania to reject the idolatry of money, the false freedom of individualism, to addiction and violence, and he has encouraged them to cultivate a culture of encounter and of solidarity.
The Pope's words to the young came during his Angelus address after the celebration of Holy Mass in Tirana's Mother Teresa Square. Commenting off-the-cuff that he has been told that Albania is the youngest country in Europe, Pope Francis invited the youth to build a better future for their country without forgetting the lessons of the past.
Please find below the full text of the Pope's Angelus address:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Before concluding this celebration, I wish to greet each of you who have come from all over Albania and from nearby countries. I thank you for your presence and for the witness of your faith.
In a particular way, I wish to greet the young! They tell me that Albania is the youngest country in Europe, so it is to you that I turn! I invite you to build your lives on Jesus Christ: the one who builds on Christ builds on rock, because he is always faithful, even if we sometimes lack faith (cf. 2 Tim. 2:13). Jesus knows us better than anyone else; when we sin, he does not condemn us but rather says to us, “Go and sin no more” (Jn 8:11). Dear young people, you are the new generation of Albania, the future of the nation. With the power of the Gospel and the example of the martyrs, you know how to say “No” to the idolatry of money, “No” to the false freedom of individualism, “No” to addiction and to violence; you also know how to say “Yes” to a culture of encounter and of solidarity, “Yes” to the beauty that is inseparable from the good and the true; “Yes” to a life lived with great enthusiasm and at the same time faithful in little things. In this way, you will build a better Albania and a better world in the footsteps of your ancestors.
Let us turn to the Virgin Mary, whom you venerate above all under her title of “Our Lady of Good Counsel”. I stand before her, spiritually, at her Shrine in Scutari, so dear to you, and to her I entrust the entire Church in Albania and all the people of this country, especially families, children and the elderly who are the living memory of the people. May Our Lady guide you to walk “together with God towards the hope that does not delude.”
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