Vatican City (Fides Service) – Thanksgiving for 25 years of Pontificate and personal thanks to youth: these were the two themes of Pope John Paul II’s meditation before praying the Angelus Prayer with the people gathered beneath his window in St Peter’s Square on Sunday 12 October. The Pope said: “Next Thursday, 16 October, I will mark the 25th year of my pontificate. At 6pm in St Peter’s Square I will celebrate a solemn Mass of Thanksgiving. In advance I thank those who will be united with me in prayer to thank God for his continual and provident assistance. I call to mind those days in October 1978. I think especially of the first Angelus prayer from this window on October 22.”
“Now, as I look with gratitude to the past – the Pope said – I turn to young people with whom from the beginning of my Petrine ministry I established preferential dialogue. I remember that at the end of that first Angelus I addressed a special greeting to them saying: “You are the future of the world, you are the hope of the Church, you are my hope”. I must admit that the response from young people has been truly encouraging. Today I want to thank them for being close to me in these 25 years and I want them to know that I continue to rely on them. I entrust to them you O Mary, you are the perennial youth of the Church. Help them to be ready and open to God’s will to build with generosity a more just and fraternal world”.
SL (Fides Service 13/10/2003 EM lines 19 Words: 275)