VATICAN - DURING SUNDAY ANGELUS PRAYER THE POPE OFFERS YOUTH MESSAGE OF SAINT MARIA GORETTI: “PURITY OF HEART AND BODY MUST BE DEFENDED BECAUSE CHASTITY GUARDS REAL LOVE”

Monday, 7 July 2003

Vatican City (Fides Service) – On Sunday 6 July addressing from his study window the crowds gathered in St Peter’s Square to pray the Angelus and receive his blessing, the Pope mentioned Saint Maria Goretti who died a martyr one hundred years ago, he said: “What can today’s young people learn from this young girl fragile but a mature Christian, from her life and above all from her heroic death? Marietta – as she was fondly called – reminds young people of the third millennium that true happiness demands courage and a spirit of sacrifice, rejection of all compromise with evil and a willingness to pay personally, even with death, loyalty to God and his commandments. How valid this message is still today! Today people often exalt pleasure, egoism and even immorality in the name of false ideals of freedom and happiness. It is necessary to reaffirm clearly that purity of heart and body must be defended because chastity <guards> real love”.
The Pope recalled that purity of heart “demands first of all assiduous turning to God in prayer” and today “ the many occupations and accelerated rhythm of life make it difficult, at times, to cultivate this important spiritual dimension. If summer holidays, which start now for some people, are not wasted through dissipation and amusement only, they can become an opportune time to give new impulse to the interior life”.
After the Angelus prayer the Pope voiced his satisfaction for the coming into force of the International Convention on the Protection of the rights of Migrant workers and their Families, adopted by the United Nations Organisation in 1990. And he said he hoped “widespread ratification from countries would strengthen its effectiveness so that with the adoption of similar measures and constant international collaboration, the complex phenomenon of migration may take place in legality and with respect for individuals and families”. SL (Fides Service 7/7/2003 EM lines 24 Words: 320)


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