Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pope Urges Selflessness to Economic Crisis

Challenges Youth to Find Right Road to Life

ROMANO CANAVESE, Italy, JULY 19, 2009 (

Benedict XVI is affirming that even in the midst of economic difficulty, strength comes from living Gospel values such as respect for human life and the family. The Pope stated this today while addressing the crowd gathered to pray the midday Angelus in the Ruggia plaza of Romano Canavese, close to Les Combes in the Aosta Valley, northern Italy, where he is spending some vacation days.

He acknowledged the region's Christian roots, a land that "was bathed in the blood of martyrs at an early date."

Among them was St. Solutore, the Pontiff noted, admitting that "until now I did not know his name but I am always grateful to discover new saint intercessors.

"Despite the town's "long history of faith" and hardworking inhabitants, the Holy Father recognized that "many families are experiencing a difficult economic situation because of the scarcity of jobs."

He affirmed that he tried to address this widespread problem in his latest encyclical, "Caritas in Veritate," which was released to the public July 7."I hope that it will be able to mobilize forces to renew the world!" Benedict XVI added.

Building the future

He continued: "Dear friends, do not be discouraged!"Providence always helps those who do good and dedicate themselves to justice; it helps those who do not think only of themselves but of those who are worse off."

The Pope reminded his listeners of how their ancestors once had to emigrate to find work, but then the tables turned and economic development brought jobs back to the region.

He explained, "The fundamental values of the family and respect for human life, sensibility for social justice, the capacity to endure toil and sacrifice, the strong link to Christian faith through parish life and especially through participation at Holy Mass, have been your strength over the centuries."

"These same values," the Pontiff said, "will permit today's generations to build their future with hope, giving life to a true solidarity and a fraternal society, in which all the various spheres, institutions and economy are permeated by an evangelical spirit."He challenged the young people in a particular way, to analyze "what sort of culture is emerging around you."

The Holy Father encouraged them to look at the proposed examples and models around them, and "determine whether they are such as to encourage you to follow the ways of the Gospel and authentic freedom."

He continued, "Youth is full of resources, but it must be helped to overcome the temptation of easy and illusory ways, to find the road of true and abundant life."

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