By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis has sent a message to participants of Cuba’s Second National Youth Day which is celebrated, this year, on August 1.
In a letter signed on his behalf by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Pope refers to the theme of the event urging young people to go forward following the example of Our Lady.
The theme, he noted, which is “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, may it be done to me according to your word,” from the Gospel according to Luke, invites all “to continue to firmly uphold the example of Mary, the faithful handmaid of the Lord, and to experience the joy that is born of having met Jesus Christ.”
Thus, the Pope encouraged Youth Day participants to be, like Mary: “witnesses of His Resurrection” and willing to let themselves be transformed into missionary disciples, “so that many other young people may discover the presence of the Lord Jesus, listen to His call, grow in His friendship, and, in this way, live an existence founded on faith and mercy.”
“With these sentiments”, the message concludes, “the Holy Father prays to God our Lord, through the intercession of the Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, to protect all young Cubans with His infinite love, accompanying them in all moments of their lives.”
Cuba’s Second National Youth Day is celebrated throughout the island in all of its Catholic dioceses.