Pope Francis sends video message for young people in Havana
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Friday sent a video message for young Cubans who organized their own youth gathering to coincide with the official World Youth Day events in Krakow, Poland. In his message the Pope praised the young people for taking this initiative and urged them to unite together in “a social friendship,” regardless of their differences and be “carriers of hope” and “builders of bridges.”
Around 1,400 young Cubans are taking part in their own youth gathering in the capital Havana that’s being attended by young people who for economic reasons cannot afford to travel to the WYD in Poland. They have adopted the same themes as the WYD in Krakow and the event includes catechesis sessions, a Way of the Cross procession and passing through the Holy Door.
Pope Francis told the young Cubans that he trusted this event will be an opportunity to promote a culture of encounter, respect, understanding and mutual forgiveness. He went on to urge them “not to be afraid of anything” and “to free themselves from the chains of this world” to announce the Good News.
Saying they must be “carriers of hope, the Pope told the young Cubans that in order to be this, they must retain their ability to dream, warning that whoever can’t dream is already like an old-age pensioner.
“Do not be afraid, do not be fussy or choosy,” he declared. “Dream that through your help, Cuba can be different and improve each day.”
Turning to the importance of hope, Pope Francis said hope brings people together to build “a social friendship,” and stressed that it isn’t necessary for them to all think alike to do this. What is important, he said, is that they all share “that desire to dream” and that “love for their nation” and together they can “build bridges” by stretching out their hands to others.