Pope determined to go to World Youth Day despite ill health

World Youth Day

Pope Francis is determined to go to World Youth Day (WYD) in August. He’ll be there despite illness, post-anaesthesia breathlessness and other medical problems.

The 86-year old underwent three hours of abdominal surgery under general anaesthesia on 7 June. Yet despite his age, his health is definitely improving. His surgeon says Francis is “better than before”.

“Some think that because of illness, I cannot go, but the doctor told me I can, so I will be with you. Come on, young people!” Francis exclaims.

He’s ‘sort of’ following doctor’s orders. He’s been told to take it easy so he’s fit to attend World Youth Day. He’s not the best at doing that and is keeping busy with appointments and meetings. He wants to do everything and meeting up with world youth is an exciting priority.

Everyone’s getting ready

Like Francis, young Catholics from across the globe will also be looking forward to the big meeting in Lisbon scheduled for 1 to 6 August.

Maybe like the Pope, they’re already packing their bags.

Showing the grey backpack with the kit that will be distributed to the pilgrims, Francis says: “I am ready! I already have everything. I can’t wait to go!

“The Day is a point of attraction for everyone. Right now it is the point we must look toward, toward which you young people must look,’ the Pope says.

“Come on, young people!” he says.

“Don’t listen to those who reduce life to ideas. Those poor people who have lost the joy of life and the joy of encounter. Pray for them”.

The three WYD languages

Francis – as has always been the case – wants young people to approach life with “the three languages” of the head, heart and hands.

We need to use our heads to think clearly “about what we feel and do”, Francis says.

“We need to use our hearts to feel deeply about what we think and do. And we need to use the language of our hands to realise what we feel and think.

“Keeping focused and positive is key.

“Come on, be cheerful. See you in Lisbon!” he says.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes

Many people are working behind the scenes to make WYD a success. Francis is grateful for their input which is needed to make the event function well.

“Thank you. I know that you are spending hours and hours of work to make all this possible,” Francis says.

“And this is not the worst part. The most difficult part will come later, when during WYD, you have to maintain the structures of order, health, food, cleanliness, so many things that are necessary. You do not appear as the protagonists of WYD, but it is you who make it possible.

“WYD cannot be realised without your work. For this I say thank you, thank you for being seeds. You are like seeds, you will germinate from below. You cannot see it, but the fruit will be born.”


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News category: World.

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