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By Vatican News

Thousands of young people are currently converging on the Polish city of Wrocław for the 42nd European Meeting of Young People, sponsored by the Taizé Community, which is taking place from 28 December 2019 through 1 January 2020. It’s the third time that Wrocław has hosted the event, and the fifth time overall that the Meeting has been held in Poland.

The annual European gatherings, according to the Taizé website, “are part of a ‘pilgrimage of trust on earth’ led by Taizé for over forty years”. Participants are given the opportunity to “pray together, to be part of a local church… and to explore themes such as understanding among peoples, peace, questions of faith, and social commitment”.

The specific theme for this year’s gathering is: “Always on the move, never uprooted”.

Accompaniment in prayer

Pope Francis, as he does every year, has addressed a message to participants, signed by the Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin. Recalling that the meeting is taking place in Poland, the homeland of Pope St John Paul II, Cardinal Parolin said that “his successor, Pope Francis” is accompanying them in prayer, and encourages them to explore more deeply the theme chosen for the event.

“Poland is a country that has its roots in the Faith”, the Cardinal said; and it is that faith which enabled the Polish people “to stand firm in great trials, when hope was shattered”. These Christians, he said, “dared to believe in another future”.

Rooted in the faith, called to reach out

Cardinal Parolin encouraged the young people to learn from their example, “to discover together to what extent being rooted in the Faith calls you and prepares you to reach out to others, to respond to the new challenges of our societies, especially the perils that weigh on our common home”.

He said that, like Abraham, young people “will discover there is much joy in setting out on a journey, sometimes… without knowing the destination in advance”. “Always be ready for new departures”, he said, “to bear witness to the Gospel, and to be fully present to those around you, especially the poorest and most unfortunate”.

Cardinal Parolin assured the young people that Pope Francis sends his blessing to all of them, to the Taizé community, and to the families and parishes that will host them during the time of the meeting. He concluded the message from Pope Francis with the hope that “the faith of Mary, also left ‘in haste’ [to visit Elizabeth; cf. Lk 1:39), might sustain the impulse of your trust in her Son”.


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