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Pope Francis: Angelus, first to sign up for WYD in Panama. He mentions prayer for Congo and talks to the sick, often lonely and marginalized

foto SIR/Marco Calvarese

With a “click” on a tablet, the Pope signed up for the next World Youth Day that will take place in Panama in January 2019, becoming pilgrim number one. It happened at the end of yesterday’s Angelus, in front of 30,000 people. “Registration opens today for World Youth Day”, Pope Francis said: “I too, now, with two young people, will register on the Internet… There, I am now enrolled as a pilgrim to World Youth Day”. “We have to prepare ourselves”, the Pope remarked, inviting all young people across the world to “live with faith and enthusiasm this event of grace and fraternity, both those going to Panama and those participating in their communities”. Then he mentioned the Lunar New Year on 15 February, that “millions of men and women will celebrate” in the Far East and in various parts of the world: “I send my cordial greetings to all their families, with the hope that they will live ever more in solidarity and fraternity, desiring to do good, to help create a society in which every person is welcomed, protected, promoted and integrated”, Pope Francis said, urging everyone to “pray for the gift of peace, a precious treasure to be pursued with compassion, farsightedness and courage”. The Pope went on to greet the Congolese community of Rome, joining in their “prayer for peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo”, and recalling that this “intention will be particularly present on the Day of Prayer and Fasting which I have proclaimed for February 23rd”. Finally, he thanked the parish groups of the post-Confirmation, the Profession of Faith and the Catechism and addressed “a special thought to the sick who, in every part of the world, in addition to lack of health, often suffer from loneliness and exclusion”. May they count on “adequate healthcare” and on a “fraternal charity that knows how to give concrete and supportive attention to those in need”.

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