Church needs young people who “listen and respond” to the call of God, says Spanish bishop

.- During a Mass celebrating the transfer of the relics of St. Atilano, a ninth century Spanish youth who decided to pursue a monastic vocation, Bishop Demetrio Fernandez Gonzalez said the Church and the world needs young people who will “listen and respond” to the call of the Lord.  As such, the Bishop of of Tarazona said, it is important to propose holiness to them as the key to Christian life.

Noting the generosity of young people today, Bishop Fernandez said in his homily, “We need to propose to them, without fear, that holiness is the key to Christian life.”  The “drunkenness, drugs, and unrestrained sex” of today are an “insult,” he said, because young people “are capable of so much more.”

Bishop Fernandez said as someone who, from his youth, listened to and followed the call of God, St. Atilano is an “example for young people for all times” of someone who “searched for God, for the meaning of life, who sought to do good for others.”

“Today, too, there are young people working and studying, preparing themselves for the future with dignity and hope.  The future belongs to these honorable young people and not so much to those who spend all of their vital energy these days on carousing,” he said during the feast of the relics that is celebrated every August 28.

During his homily, Bishop Fernandez underscored the need for “families that live according to God’s law” and for “people dedicated to the common good, without seeking their own interests.”

St. Atilano was born in Tarazona in 850.  At 15 years of age he joined a Benedictine monastery.  After he was ordained to the priesthood, he went to Bierzo in search of St. Froilan, who was renowned for his preaching and had retired to the desert to live in solitude.

Froilan would later become Bishop of Leon and Atilano Bishop of Zamora on the same day in 900.  St Atilano governed the Diocese of Zamora until October 5, 919.

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