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'Be not afraid!' Pope tells young Argentine Catholics

Catholic World News - April 28, 2014

In a message to young Catholics of his native Argentina, Pope Francis offered simple advice: “Do not be afraid! Look at Jesus, look at Mary, and go forward!”

The Pope recorded a video message, which was shown on April 26 at the National Youth Day conference in Buenos Aires. Speaking without a prepared text, the Holy Father said that he was reminded of all the young people whose encounters with Jesus are recorded in the Gospels. Jesus had a great appeal for young people, the Pope said, and those he met were filled with enthusiasm.

Some of the people who met Jesus later faltered, the Pope continued. But that in itself should not be discouraging, he said. “God takes advantage of our failures to speak to our hearts,” he reminded the Argentine youth.

The examples drawn from the Gospels all involved young men, the Pope observed. So in turning his attention to the young women of Argentina, he said:

Women have the great gift of being able to give life, of being able to give tenderness, of being able to give peace and joy. There is one model for you, Mary: the woman of fidelity, who did not understand what was happening to her but obeyed nonetheless.

Thus, the Pope said with a smile, young women should not be dismayed by the predominance of men in the Gospel stories, because with Mary as their model, “you got a better deal than the men!”

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