During the time of the Wednesday General Audience Pope Francis, turning to the faithful, referred to the recently concluded pilgrimage to Poland and to World Youth Day.
“Today I want to share the memory of my apostolic trip to Poland, which ended a few days ago. The occasion for it was World Youth Day”.
...the youth of the world received the message of mercy to carry it everywhere
“Once again young people answered the call: they came from the whole world to celebrate a festival of colours, different faces, languages, different histories. They came here also with their wounds, with their questions, but first of all with the joy of meeting. Once again they formed a mosaic of brotherhood. During this great Jubilee meeting young people received the message of mercy to carry it everywhere through works for the soul and for the body. I thank all young people who came to Krakow! And I thank those who joined us from every corner of the Earth! May the gift received by you become an everyday answer to God's call,” said the Holy Father to the faithful in the Paul VI Hall.
...Europe has no future apart from its founding values
Pope Francis also spoke about the important role that Poland plays in contemporary Europe: “I also visited the Sanctuary in Częstochowa. Before the image of Our Lady, before Her maternal gaze, it is possible to understand the spiritual sense of the pilgrimage of this nation, whose history is inseparably connected with the Cross of Christ. Here we tangibly touch the faith of the holy faithful people of God, which guards hope through trials; and also guards this wisdom, which is a balance between tradition and innovation, between the past and the future. And Poland reminds all of Europe today, that there cannot be talk about the future of the continent apart from its founding values, centred on the Christian vision of man and including the message of mercy expressed so eloquently in the last century by Saints John Paul and Faustina Kowalska.”
…this trip also had a global perspective
He also emphasized the global perspective of his presence in the former German concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau:
“Finally this trip also had a global perspective, by a world urged to answer to the challenge connected with the war threatening it “in pieces”. And here the great silence of the visit in Auschwitz-Birkenau was more telling than any words. In this great silence I prayed for all victims of violence and war. For all of this I thank God and the Virgin Mary.”
…I thank the Polish nation and the Church in Poland for this great festival of youth
Pope Francis, during his first audience after a July summer break, also turned to Polish pilgrims:
“Brothers and sisters, through you I thank the Polish nation and the Church in Poland for this great festival of youth, which we were able to experience in Krakow. Once more I thank the President of Poland, other government representatives, the Cardinal Archbishop of Krakow and the whole Episcopate of Poland and all those who in various ways prepared and made this event possible, which offered a sign of fraternity and peace to Poland, Europe and the world.”
I ask God that these young people who I met in Krakow would carry in their hearts the spark of His mercy to the whole world. I entrust to God the soul of Cardinal Macharski, whom I was able to visit before his death, which took place yesterday! May God bless you!”