Pope Frances tweeted today: How much I desire that the years to come will be full of mercy, so that every person can experience the goodness and tenderness of God!
MARY IS THE FOCUS OF NEXT THREE WORLD YOUTH DAYS
The Vatican, through the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, today announced the themes for the next three World Youth Days as chosen by Pope Francis. The Blessed Virgin Mary is the focus of all three celebrations, the first two in 2017 and 2018 at the diocesan level and the third at the international in 2019 in Panama. Pope Francis presided at the last international WYD in July of this year in Krakow, Poland.
The three themes are taken from the Gospel of Saint Luke:
32nd World Youth Day, 2017: “The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is His Name” (Lk 1:49)
33rd World Youth Day, 2018: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God” (Lk 1:30)
34th World Youth Day, 2019: “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38)
Noting that the themes are a continuation of the reflections begun by Pope Francis for the last three World Youth Days on the Beatitudes, the dicastery communique recalled Pope Francis’ remarks at World Youth Day in Krakow, when he invited young people to have “memory of the past, courage for the present and to have/be hope for the future.” The themes “are intended to give a clear Marian tone to the spiritual journey of the next three WYDs” and at the same time “give a picture of young people on a journey between the past (2017), present (2018), and future (2019), inspired by the three theological virtues of faith, charity, and hope.”
The Dicastery note says the “path that is being proposed to young people can also be seen to be in harmony with the reflection that Pope Francis has entrusted to the next Synod of Bishops: Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment.”
THE YEAR OF MERCY CONTINUES WITH WWW.PETERSPENCE.VA
The annual collection taken up around the world for the Pope’s charities, known in the United States and many other countries as Peter’s Pence and in Italy as the “obolo di San Pietro” now has its own page on the Vatican website – www.peterspence.va
The announcement was made this morning by the Secretariat of State as it unveiled the new website. It went online on yesterday, November 21 and is currently available in English, Italian, and Spanish, though it will soon be translated into other languages.
This annual collection usually occurs on or around the June 29th Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. Funds are given to the Holy Father who then chooses the recipients whom he feels are most in need.
The dicastery communique notes that faithful throughout the world will now have the opportunity to “reflect on the significance of their acts and offer, also online, their concrete support for the works of mercy, Christian charity, peace, and aid to the Holy See.” It adds that, “created by desire of the Holy See, the site is the fruit of an important synergy between the Governorate of the Vatican City State, the Secretariat for Communications, and the Institute for the Works of Religion” (i.e. the Vatican Bank).
The site presents papal messages, the history of Peter’s Pence, lists various works of mercy and, of course, offers the chance to donate online.