"It worries me that, once they have lost their 'connection,' many people think they have nothing to offer; they feel lost. Never think that you have nothing to offer or that nobody cares about you. Never!" Francis emphasized.
Referencing the Chilean St. Alberto Hurtado, he said that the saint can be a good guide for young people on how to set their hearts ablaze "with the fire that keeps joy alive" – which is Jesus.
St. Alberto's "password" for achieving happiness was to ask the question: "What would Christ do in my place?" Francis said, asking youth to type that phrase into their phones to remember to ask it on a regular basis.
He advised them to ask themselves "at school, at university, when outdoors, when at home, among friends, at work, when taunted: 'What would Christ do in my place?' When you go dancing, when you are playing or watching sports: 'What would Christ do in my place?'"
The only way to commit something to heart, like a password, is by using it over and over, day after day, the Pope said. Therefore, "wherever you are, with whomever you are with, and whenever you get together," ask yourself: "What would Jesus do?"
"The time will come when you know it by heart, and the day will come when, without realizing it, your heart will beat like Jesus' heart."
"Dear friends, be courageous, go out straightaway to meet your friends, people you don't know, or those having troubles," he encouraged.
"Go out with the only promise we have: that wherever you are…you will always be 'connected'; there will always be a 'power source.' We will never be alone. We will always enjoy the company of Jesus, his Mother and a community."
Hannah Brockhaus is Catholic News Agency's senior Rome correspondent. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has a degree in English from Truman State University in Missouri.