.- "Intellectual and Scientific Research, a Way to Meet Christ", will be the theme of a gathering of young Europeans as a prelude to this summer’s World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany. The Third annual European Day for Universities will be celebrated throughout Europe tomorrow. Today, the Vatican released details of the event.
At 5:30 p.m. in Paul VI Hall in the Vatican, there will be a Marian prayer vigil in the Paul VI Hall during which Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar for Rome, will read a message from the Holy Father expressing his solidarity with the gathered young people.
The Vatican noted that there would be a satellite linkup broadcasting simultaneous events in cathedrals and shrines throughout Europe.
The national gatherings will be led by Cardinals Maximilian Sterzinsky in Berlin, Jose da Cruz Policarpo in Lisbon, Lubomyr Husar in Kiev, Antonio Maria Rouco Varela in Madrid, Josip Bozanic of Zagreb, and Tarcisio Bertone in Genoa, and by Archbishops Francesco Cacucci in Bari, Ioan Robu in Bucharest, Stanislav Szyrokoradiuk, auxiliary of Kiev, Wasyl Medwit, apostolic vicar of the apostolic exarchate of Kiev, Rrok Mirdita of Tirana and Bishop Alan Hopes of Westminster.
The Vatican estimates that nearly 10,000 young people will be present in the Paul VI Hall where a number of them will give reflections and testimonies of their faith. All will recite the rosary as well.
In addition to these events, the Pontifical Lateran University will hold a three-day European workshop for university professors on the theme "Intellectual Research, A Way to Meet Christ. The teaching of the Encyclical 'Fides et Ratio'."
Copies of the encyclical will be given to university students. Following the vigil in Rome, young people will accompany the Cross, in a candlelit procession to the church of St. Agnes in Piazza Navona.
The university day is being organized by the Council of Episcopal Conferences of Europe with the purpose, says a communique from the group, of "building a new humanism, gift and resource for the continent's future generations."
The press release says that, "The aim of this annual day, is to respond to the extraordinary Magisterium of John Paul II who called on university communities, as centers of scientific research, of producing knowledge and of the cultural and professional formation of the young generation, to build a new humanism which proposes once again the Christian roots of Europe by bringing them out into the open.”
"The foundations of this humanism”, the statement continues, “are trust in reason as a tool for getting to know the truth about humanity, the primacy of the person over technology, the opportunities that globalization offers to the world today to promote communion and friendship between peoples, the need to participate in social and political life with a view to serving one's brothers and sisters, and the development of intellectual charity as a mission of the university world."