(Vatican Radio) At the end of the closing Mass for World Youth Day 2016, Polish Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko, currently President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, had words of gratitude for Pope Francis. After thanking the Pope for choosing Krakow as the site for World Youth Day, Cardinal Ryłko said, “Now, at the end of these days spent in Krakow, with hearts full of joy, these young people want to express to you, Holy Father, their filial devotion and their profound gratitude.”
Cardinal Ryłko asked Pope Francis to send forth the young people as missionaries: “Holy Father, bless this people of disciples and missionaries of Christ. They are ready to go and bring the flame of his merciful love to the ends of the earth, symbolized by the torches that now you will now give to five young people from the five continents.
Below, please find our unofficial translation of Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko’s prepared remarks:
The 31st World Youth Day is coming to an end. Before you there are crowds of young people gathered from the remotest corners of the planet. It is a beautiful image of a young Church, full of joy and missionary enthusiasm. Here, are the young people who have accepted your invitation to participate in this particular WYD, because it is combined with the celebration of the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, in the name of the Gospel Beatitude: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Mt 5,7).
Thank you, Holy Father, for choosing Krakow as the place to celebrate this World Youth Day! It is the city that houses the Shrine of Merciful Jesus, the destination of many pilgrims from all over the world. It is also the city of the two great apostles of Divine Mercy: Saint Faustina Kowalska and Saint John Paul II, who have accompanied and guided young people during this World Youth Day.
Here in Krakow we experienced wonderful and unforgettable days. This WYD showed us mercy as the beating heart of the Gospel and Christianity, because Christianity and mercy are the same! Merciful Jesus, venerated in the Shrine of Lagiewniki, truly walked among us and his gaze filled with tender love has deeply touched our hearts. How many important decisions have matured in the young these days: the choice of a Christian marriage, the priesthood, or the consecrated life! The young people have experienced such joy being together as brothers, thus testifying to the world that it is beautiful to be a Christian, that following Christ in their lives is worth it!
Now, at the end of these days spent in Krakow, with hearts full of joy, these young people want to express to you, Holy Father, their filial devotion and their profound gratitude. Thank-you for presided over this World Youth Day! Thank you for the words you addressed to the young people, words that keep hope alive and give each person renewed courage.
Holy Father, it is now the moment of missionary sending. In August 2002, during the inauguration of the Shrine of Merciful Jesus right here in Krakow, John Paul II said: “You have to light this spark of God's grace. You have to transmit to the world the fire of mercy. In the mercy of God the world will find peace and mankind will find happiness!” (Homily at the dedication of the Shrine of Krakow-Lagiewniki, 17 August 2002). Today, in this “field of mercy”, the Holy Pontiff’s words find their prophetic fulfillment! Today these young people, touched by God's mercy, return to their countries, as apostles and witnesses of mercy.
Holy Father, bless this people of disciples and missionaries of Christ. They are ready to go and bring the flame of his merciful love to the ends of the earth, symbolized by the torches that now you will now give to five young people from the five continents.
Thank you, Holy Father!
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