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Cardinal-elect Aguiar visits Holy Land youth unable to come to WYD

The President of the World Youth Day Foundation – Lisbon, Cardinal-elect Americo Aguiar, Auxiliary Bishop of Lisbon, Portugal, brings Pope Francis’ closeness to young people of the Holy Land unable to travel to WYD, saying they are an example that teach us resilience and faith.

Cardinal-elect Americo Aguiar, Auxiliary Bishop of Lisbon and President of the World Youth Day Foundation – Lisbon, has made a special visit to young people of the Holy Land unable to travel to the upcoming World Youth Day.

During his visit, the General Secretariat of Christian Youth in Palestine organized a Mass in Beit Jala, Bethlehem, on 22 July, presided over by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Cardinal-elect Pierbattista Pizzaballa, and Cardinal-elect Aguiar.

Pope’s closeness to young people of Holy Land

The Holy Father has repeatedly made appeals for an end to the ongoing violence in the region, and for peace-making efforts, constantly expressing his closeness to those suffering.

The future Cardinal cited reasons for his visit, including the Pope’s words of advice.

“The first,” he said, “is to fulfill a promise I made to the young people who came from the Holy Land to Lisbon to prepare for the pilgrimage. I told them that before WYD I would find time to visit them. And here I am.”

“The other reason involves what Pope Francis has always told me, ‘Don’t forget those who cannot come to Lisbon.’ I made that effort! We made an effort to meet young people who have difficulties going to Lisbon: such as from Ukraine and the Holy Land.”

The future Cardinal had made a special visit to bring his closeness to young Ukrainian faithful earlier this month.

Holy Land young Catholics ‘are an example’

Cardinal-designate Aguiar said “these young people are an example.”

“Because of their resilience,” he noted, “they are able to overcome all the obstacles we see. Dialogue and encounter, despite everything, are possible.”

World Youth Day, he continued, is a global meeting, and thus requires our commitment to reach the world’s young faithful.

“Certainly young people from Palestine will be, in a special way, a beloved presence, very dear to the young people around the world.”

Encouragement of Cardinal-elect Pizzaballa

In his homily, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalemn, Cardinal-elect Pizzaballa, referred to the large participation of young people from the Holy Land this year in World Youth Day, noting there are 90 from Jordan, 50 from Galilee, 200 from Palestine and 20 for the first time from Cyprus.

The Patriarch invited the young Catholics to invest their time in doing good, despite the many injustices they witness in their lives.

The Auxiliary Bishop of Lisbon also visited some of the craft workshops that made thousands of rosary beads to be distributed to WYD participants. This project, carried out by Caritas Jerusalem, provided employment for many families in the city of Bethlehem.

An experience with Christ

WYD Panama, Cardinal-elect Aguiar acknowledged, “already had a collaboration protocol with Caritas Jerusalem for the production of the rosaries.” He explained that they were again asked to produce new ones for WYD Lisbon.

Aid to the Church in Need, he said, supports the project, one which “allows many families to have an income thanks precisely to the production of the rosaries that will be distributed at this year’s World Day.” 

Cardinal-elect Aguiar concluded by recalling the great contribution of young Catholics to the mission and future of the Church, as the Pope often says, and stressing that for this reason World Youth Day has great value.

“World Youth Day offers every young people an experience of encounter with Christ, a personal dialogue with Him.”

By Deborah Castellano Lubov | Vaticannews

2023-08-10T19:54:08+00:00 August 10th, 2023|Categories: News|