Pope surprises by hearing confessions in St Peter’s Square

Pope Francis surprised thousands of teenagers by personally hearing confessions for more than an hour in St Peter’s Square on Saturday.

The Pope administered the sacrament of Reconciliation to 16 teenage boys and girls.

It was part of a three-day Jubilee for Teens, for young people aged between 13 and 16, which is an initiative of the Holy Year of Mercy.

The 16 teenage boys and girls whose confessions the Pope heard had been chosen at random from the throngs of banner-waving, rucksack-carrying young people present.

Francis was joined by 150 priests in hearing the confessions in front of St Peter’s Basilica.

In a message published earlier this year in preparation for the Jubilee for Teens, Pope Francis wrote: “Don’t just prepare your rucksacks and your banners – but your hearts and minds as well.”

At a Mass at Sunday, Pope Francis told 90,000 young people that, because of their friendship with Christ, they are never alone.

“Even if you disappoint him and walk away from him, Jesus continues to want the best for you and to remain close to you; he believes in you even more than you believe in yourself.”

“The biggest threat to growing up well comes from thinking that no one cares about us, from feeling that we are all alone,” the Pope said.

“The Lord, on the other hand, is always with you and he is happy to be with you.”

Moreover, Jesus calls young people to follow him, just as he did the first disciples, the Pope added.

“Jesus is waiting patiently for you. He awaits your response. He is waiting for you to say ‘yes’.”

Pope Francis told the young people: “Your happiness has no price”.

“It cannot be bought: it is not an app that you can download on your phones nor will the latest update bring you freedom and grandeur in love.”

“That is because love is a free gift which calls for an open heart,” he said.

“It is a noble responsibility which is life-long; it is a daily task for those who can achieve great dreams!”


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