Pope Benedict prayed a Rosary with university students from both Rome and Africa on Saturday night at the Vatican's Paul VI Hall. Following the Marian prayer, the Holy Father remarked that students must be “passionate seekers of truth.”
Synod Fathers from the ongoing Synod for Africa, Roman university students and via satellite, university students from eight African cities: Cairo, Egypt; Nairobi, Kenya; Khartoum, Sudan; Johannesburg, South Africa; Onitsha, Nigeria; Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; Maputo, Mozambique, and Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso participated in the event.
Following the Rosary, Benedict XVI spoke to the students and asked them to be “workers of intellectual charity” in both the Church and society. Living out this call is “so necessary if we are to face up to the great challenges of the present time,” the Pope said.
While at the university, he continued, the students must be “passionate seeks of truth,” and must build “academic communities of the highest intellectual standard, where it is possible to exercise and enjoy that open and all-embracing rationality which paves the way to the meeting with God.”
He then exhorted the students to also also collaborate among their various institutions, especially with the African schools.
Speaking to the African students, the Pope invited them to use their years of study as “preparation to carry out a service of cultural animation in your countries.”
“New evangelization in Africa also depends on your generous efforts," he concluded.