Listen to young people – the Pope and World Youth Day

When Pope Francis arrives in Poland today to meet with an expected 2 million young people from around the world, he’s going with a firm idea of the dreams, fears and challenges so many of them face.

He knows what lies inside the hearts and minds of today’s youth.

This is not because of any third-party polling or sophisticated survey, but because Pope Francis practices what he’s called an “apostolate of the ear.”

The Pope says it takes patience and grace to truly listen to what others have to say.

He stressed this during his Angelus address this month, warning that people’s hectic lives were threatening an already hobbled ability to listen.

As Pope, a busy ministry that could easily lead to isolation or over-scheduling, he has worked hard to make the time to listen to people of all backgrounds in public and private settings.

He has often broken with papal protocol to get an unfiltered look at what today’s youth think and feel.

He is planning to scrap pre-written speeches and ask his audience what questions they have.

World Youth Day is the largest regular Catholic gathering in the world, when all young pilgrims experience this great festival of faith together.

While many young people attending the celebration of faith arrive with the support of their communities and countries, others are not so fortunate.

Among these is a large group of Iraqi youth, who aim to witness to the joy of their faith despite ongoing violent persecution.

We are so happy and proud to be Christians,’ Father Rayan Atto, who is in charge of coordinating the large group traveling to Krakow said.

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News category: World.

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