Aug 17, 2014 / 02:20 am
Addressing thousands of young people from across Asia, Pope Francis emphasized the urgent need to “wake up” and spread Christ’s love throughout the continent, pointing to the martyrs as examples.
“Asian youth, wake up!” the Pope exclaimed.
“As young Christians, whether you are workers or students, whether you have already begun a career or have answered the call to marriage, religious life or the priesthood, you are not only a part of the future of the Church; you are also a necessary and beloved part of the Church’s present!” he said.
The Pope delivered the homily at the Aug. 17 Closing Mass of the 6th Asian Youth Day, which took place at Haemi Castle, a fortress that was used to imprison Christians during the 19th century. The Mass was held during the Pope’s historic Aug. 13-18 trip to South Korea.
Pope Francis invited the young people of Asia to imitate the martyrs of the continent, including the 124 Korean martyrs he beatified the previous day.
These men and women, he said, “handed over their bodies to their persecutors; to us they have handed on a perennial witness that the light of Christ’s truth dispels all darkness, and the love of Christ is gloriously triumphant.”
The Pope pointed to the theme of the event – “Asian Youth! Wake up! The glory of the martyrs shines upon you!” – describing these words as being both a consolation and a responsibility for those who hear them.
The diverse Asian countries from which attendees had gathered each offer a unique context for the reflection of Christ’s love, he said. …
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