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Pope Francis greets pilgrims at the weekly General AudiencePope Francis greets pilgrims at the weekly General Audience (Vatican Media)

Reflecting on his apostolic journey to Portugal for World Youth Day in Lisbon, Pope Francis praised the event as a moment to meet Christ, discover faith and experience God’s love. Source: Vatican News.

The Pope’s comments came yesterday as he resumed his weekly general audience at the Vatican after his annual July break. 

At the Audience, the Pope reflected on his Lisbon visit and the great fruits it provided.

“World Youth Day in Lisbon, after the pandemic, was felt by all to be a gift of God,” Pope Francis said.

God, the Pope recalled, set in motion the young people’s hearts and steps, to go and find Jesus.

World Youth Day, he stressed, is an encounter with the living Christ through the Church, “an encounter that makes one grow in faith and where many discover God’s call,” often “to marriage, to consecrated life, to the priesthood.

“For each and every person,” he said, “it is the joy of discovering that they are called, by grace, to be part of the people of God, a different people … sent to proclaim to all peoples the joyful Gospel of Christ: that God is Father and loves all His children.”

In a special way, he recalled the Blessed Virgin’s Mary’s presence during these days, and throughout history.

He especially recalled his time praying to her in Fatima, and her effectiveness whenever we speak to her.

“Mary is everyone’s mother; she never makes us wait,” he said.

The Pope said he prayed at the site of the Apparition, along with young people who are ill, “that God will heal the world of the diseases of the soul,” citing specifically “pride, lies, enmity, and violence”.

The Holy Father’s visit to Portugal marks the first of three Apostolic Journeys between August and September.

On August 31 to September 4 September, he will travel to Mongolia, making him the first-ever Pope to travel there. Later on in the month, the Pope will spend two days in Marseille, France, for an encounter about migration in the Mediterranean.


Pope at Audience: WYD in Portugal was ‘an encounter with Christ’ (By Deborah Castellano Lubov, Vatican News)