The Holy Father welcomed the 25th World Youth Day in his remarks before the Angelus in a St. Peter's Square full of flags and banners from all over the world.
From behind the altar at the entrance of the Vatican basilica where he had just celebrated Palm Sunday Mass, the Pope recalled the first World Youth Day, and John Paul II's call for youth to be witnesses to the truth for their generation.
Noting the origins of World Youth Day (WYD) within the United Nation's "International Year of Youth" in 1985, Benedict XVI remembered the invitation from Pope John Paul II during the inaugural celebration for young people to “profess their faith in Christ who 'has taken the cause of man upon himself.'"
Pope Benedict said, "Today, I renew this call to the new generation, to give testimony with the meek and luminous strength of the truth, so that the men and the women of the third millennium don't lack the most authentic model: Jesus Christ."
The Holy Father hosted a celebration for WYD 2010 in the square on Thursday evening at which more than 70,000 young people were in attendance.