August 18, 2002

Papal Address Prior to Recitation of Angelus

"Before concluding this liturgy by praying the Angelus, I wish to speak to the young people. Unfortunately it was not possible to have a special meeting with them during this visit, but I saw them everywhere I went on my pilgrimage. I know that there is a large group of members of the "Light and Life" movement present here; they spent the night in prayer at the Church of Saints Peter and Paul in All Saints Parish in order to meet the Pope at this solemn Mass. I remember that exactly thirty years ago, on 16 August, in Blyszcz, near Tylmanowa, I was able to take part in the so-called "Days of Communion." At that time I would comment that I felt personally very close to the life style proposed to the young people by the Servant of God Father Franciszek Blachnicki. And my feelings have not changed.

I thank God for this movement, which in the difficulties of past years has borne so much spiritual fruit in the hearts of young people and which today represents a stimulating environment for their spiritual growth and that of their families. Beloved members of "Oasis," when I was Bishop of Krakow I sought to show you my support by my presence; as Bishop of Rome I continue to accompany you endlessly with my prayer and my spiritual closeness. May love for the Eucharist and for the Bible always shine divine light upon the paths of your lives.

Dear young friends! Recently in Toronto, Canada, a special meeting of youth from throughout the world took place, a meeting that occurs every two years called World Youth Day. It was a marvelous event, filled with a spirit of faith; faith is the solid foundation for the enthusiasm of young people’s aspirations and plans. As I said on the shores of Lake Ontario, we have re-lived the experience of the people of Galilee, to whom Jesus entrusted the message of the Beatitudes beside the Lake Tiberias. Today I return from that experience, keeping in mind the message of Divine Mercy. Through Saint Faustina, God entrusts this message to you, so that in its light you can better understand what it means to be poor in spirit, to be merciful, to be peacemakers, to hunger and thirst for justice, and finally to suffer persecution for Jesus’ name. The witness of men and women who live the Beatitudes is needed in every age. It is needed today too. I ask God to grant that your lives, according to this demanding divine measure, will be an appealing witness of mercy in our day.

I also wish to greet in a special way the members of the "Friends of Lepers" Association of Father Jan Beyzym, who continue his effective mission of helping lepers. I urge you: do not let your work of mercy ever cease, and may your patron sustain you.

Through Cardinal Armand Gaétan Razafindatandra, Archbishop of Atananarivo, I greet the Church in Madagascar. May Our Lady of Czestochowa, the devotion to whom is a particular legacy of Blessed Jan Beyzym, keep you under her protection.

I greet the pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Warsaw, led by the Cardinal Primate. The beatification of Archbishop Felix Felinski was celebrated in Krakow because it was here that he completed his life, but he will always remain the Patron of your Archdiocese. Although he served there for only a short time, he left the indelible mark of his deep spirituality. Through his intercession, I invoke prosperity upon the capital and all who live there.

I cannot forget the Archdiocese of Przemysl, which rejoices today because Father Jan Balicki has been raised to the glory of the Beati. I greet Archbishop Józef, the clergy and faithful, and I ask God to grant that devotion to the new patron will bring abundant fruits of grace into the hearts of all.

I greet the Jesuit Fathers with their Provost General. Today you have a new Beatus: Jan Beyzym. May his dedication to God and to the needy be an example for you, and may it inspire you always to undertake new tasks according to the demands of the times.

I have already remembered the Seraphic Sisters: once more I greet them, expressing the hope that they grow in number and in virtue before God and men.

Finally, we must show our respect for the guests who have come from various parts of the world. Let me then greet the pilgrims from Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Austria, Canada, England, France, Germany, Switzerland, the Unites States and other countries. Their presence is testimony that the devotion to Divine Mercy is spreading throughout the world. And thanks be to God! I am convinced that they will carry this message to their families and to the places where they live. I pray that this will be a gift of hope and peace for all people of good will.

And now we commend our intentions to the Mother of God, the Mother of Mercy: Angelus Domini ...