.- With World Youth Day coming up next year, Pope Francis has a question for young people: “Do you realize how precious you are to God, who has given you everything out of love?”
“You, dear young man, dear young woman, have you ever felt the gaze of everlasting love upon you, a gaze that looks beyond your sins, limitations and failings, and continues to have faith in you and to look upon your life with hope?” the Pope asked Sept. 28.
His Message for the 31st World Youth Day in Krakow 2016 invited young people to reflect on mercy and to visit the Divine Mercy Shrine in Krakow. The next global Catholic youth gathering takes place July 25-31.
“Dear young people, at the Shrine in Krakow dedicated to the merciful Jesus, where he is depicted in the image venerated by the people of God, Jesus is waiting for you. He has confidence in you and is counting on you! He has so many things to say to each of you,” the Pope continued.
“Do not be afraid to look into his eyes, full of infinite love for you. Open yourselves to his merciful gaze, so ready to forgive all your sins. A look from him can change your lives and heal the wounds of your souls. His eyes can quench the thirst that dwells deep in your young hearts, a thirst for love, for peace, for joy and for true happiness. Come to him and do not be afraid!”
Pope Francis credited to Divine Providence the decision to celebrate World Youth Day in Krakow, the city of Sts. John Paul II and Faustina Kowalska. St. Faustina, a 20th century nun, had visions of Christ, upon which is based the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
“John Paul II realized that this is the time of mercy,” Pope Francis said. He noted that his predecessor had instituted the Feast of Divine Mercy and personally inaugurated Krakow’s Divine Mercy Shrine in 2002.