From the text of his opening speech at World Youth Day:
As I begin my visit to Brazil, I am well aware that, in addressing
young people, I am also speaking to their families, their local and
national church communities, the societies they come from, and the men
and women upon whom this new generation largely depends.
Here it is
common for parents to say, “Our children are the apple of our eyes”.
How beautiful is this expression of Brazilian wisdom, which applies to
young people an image drawn from our eyes, which are the window through
which light enters into us, granting us the miracle of sight! What
would become of us if we didn’t look after our eyes? How could we move
forward? I hope that, during this week, each one of us will ask
ourselves this thought-provoking question.
Young people are the
window through which the future enters the world, thus presenting us
with great challenges. Our generation will show that it can realize the
promise found in each young person when we know how to give them space;
how to create the material and spiritual conditions for their full
development; how to give them a solid basis on which to build their
lives; how to guarantee their safety and their education to be
everything they can be; how to pass on to them lasting values that make
life worth living; how to give them a transcendent horizon for their
thirst for authentic happiness and their creativity for the good; how to
give them the legacy of a world worthy of human life; and how to awaken
in them their greatest potential as builders of their own destiny,
sharing responsibility for the future of everyone.
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