Pope Francis recently addressed tens of thousands of young Catholics who gathered at the OVO Arena Wembley in London for the 5th CYMFed Flame Congress.

The event took place 150 days before the 37th World Youth Day, which will be held in Lisbon, Portugal from August 1-6, 2023. The theme for the congress was “Rise Up!”, echoing the WYD Scripture passage, “Mary arose and went with haste.”

In a message of encouragement, Pope Francis urged the young Catholics to grow strong in faith and love and courageously bear witness to the Gospel message that sets us free. He also urged them to follow the example of Mary, the Mother of God, and respond to the Lord’s call to follow Him. The Pope encouraged them to dare to be different and point to ideals that are not of this world.

He urged the young Catholics to testify to the beauty of generosity, service, purity, perseverance, forgiveness, fidelity to their personal vocation, prayer, the pursuit of justice and the common good, love for the poor, and social friendship.

He concluded his message by entrusting the young English and Welsh Catholics and their families “to the intercession of Our Lady of Walsingham” and offering them his “blessing as a pledge of wisdom, joy, and peace in Jesus the Lord.”

The Flame 2023 event was an opportunity for young Catholics to rise up after the pandemic and embrace their faith, just as Mary did. The event also featured guest speakers, including Filipino-born Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization, and Australian-born Archbishop Timothy Costelloe of Perth.

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  1. The young people are blessed with strength and stamina. They should not behave like old, tired, and rigid youngsters.


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