Catholic World News

Pope's message of hope to Mexican youth

February 17, 2016

Young people are the wealth of Mexico, Pope Francis said during a Tuesday-evening encounter with 50,000 young people in a soccer stadium in Morelia.

After hearing testimonies from several young Mexicans, the Pope spoke, remarking that during his visit he has been struck by "the vitality, the joy, and the festive spirit of the Mexican people." He went on:

One of Mexico's greatest treasures is that it has a youthful face: its young people. Yes, you are the wealth of this land.

The Pope quickly cautioned, however, that young people are not the hope of Mexico. For hope, he said, the nation and its people should turn to Christ. He warned his young audience against placing their trust and their ambitions in wealth and power. "Hope is silenced by what they make you believe," he said, "and they don't let you flourish." In an obvious reference to the country's drug trade, the Pope also warned the young people not to become "mercenaries of other people's ambitions." 

To find a way out of the problems that afflict the country-- the violence and corruption, the absence of opportunities for youth-- the Pope recommended movign "hand in hand with Jesus Christ." He told them that "the Lord continues to call you...just as he did with the Indian, Juan Diego."

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