In Loreto on Saturday, during a gathering of prayer and celebration, more than 15,000 young people listened to a recorded greeting by Pope John Paul II in which he exhorted them to “be witnesses of Christ” in order to permeate European culture with the Gospel, a mission that requires fidelity, coherence and courage to “the point of the heroism of sanctity.”
The greeting was recorded for the group of young people who on September 2 presented "The Letter of the Christian Youth of Europe" to him in Castelgandolfo, an idea born during the August 5 to 8 European youth pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Spain on the occasion of the Holy Year of St. James.
"Be witnesses of Christ in order to build a Europe of hope,” said the Pope. “This is the message that you want to present to your peers and to the entire European community of today. The dream that you carry in your heart is that of a Europe which is proud of its rich cultural and religious heritage and attentive at the same time to the values of humanity and life, solidarity and acceptance, justice and peace."
"You are not embarrassed of the Gospel," continues the Holy Father, "and you are conscious that the civilization of love is not built by separating the Gospel and culture, but by looking for an ever-new synthesis between the two."
"In order to carry out your mission," he concludes, "fidelity to Christ and to His Church, coherence and courage to the point of the heroism of sanctity is necessary. It is the path that the saints of Europe took in centuries past. May their witness be a stimulus for each one of you, beloved young people who are following me by radio and television."