The World Youth Day was a “great symphony of faces and languages”, “a prophetic sign, one that runs contrary to the current, sad tendency of conflictual nationalisms that raise walls and close themselves to universality and the encounter of peoples”: these were the Pope’s words during the general audience dedicated to his recent trip to Panama (23-28 January)…

The Pope then went over the various stages of WYD, preceded, he recalled, by “Five days of meeting with the indigenous young people and the young Afro-descendants, there are many in that region, they have opened the door to the World Day. It was an important initiative that showed even better the multiform face of the Church in Latin America, which is mestizo. Then – he continued – with the arrival of groups from all over the world, the great symphony of faces and languages, typical of this event, took shape. “To see all the flags joined together, waving in the hands of young people overjoyed to meet one another, was a prophetic sign, one that runs contrary to the current, sad tendency of conflictual nationalisms that raise walls and close themselves to universality and the encounter of peoples.” It is a sign that young Christians are the leaven of peace in the world”…

In Panama “everything was “contaminated” and “amalgamated” by the joyful presence of young people: a feast for them and a feast for Panama, and also for all of Central America, marked by so many dramatic situations and in need of hope, peace and justice,” Francis said again…

Then the Pope dwelt on the Way of the Cross, confiding to the faithful present in the Hall: “Let me tell you a secret: I really enjoy doing the Way of the Cross, because it means following Jesus with Mary”, and I always carry with me, a pocket-size Way of the Cross, which was given to me by a very apostolic person in Buenos Aires, so I can pray it when I have time”…

“When appearing as members of their order, they wore a garb of sanctity, visiting prisons and hospitals, ministering to the sick and the poor, professing to have renounced the world, and bearing the sacred name of Jesus, who went about doing good. But under this blameless exterior the most criminal and deadly purposes were often concealed. It was a fundamental principle of the order that the end justifies the means. By this code, lying, theft, perjury, assassination, were not only pardonable but commendable, when they served the interests of the church. Under various disguises the Jesuits worked their way into offices of state, climbing up to be the counselors of kings, and shaping the policy of nations. They became servants to act as spies upon their masters. They established colleges for the sons of princes and nobles, and schools for the common people; and the children of Protestant parents were drawn into an observance of popish rites. All the outward pomp and display of the Romish worship was brought to bear to confuse the mind and dazzle and captivate the imagination, and thus the liberty for which the fathers had toiled and bled was betrayed by the sons. The Jesuits rapidly spread themselves over Europe, and wherever they went, there followed a revival of popery.” – The Great Controversy Page 235

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