As Benedict XVI prepares to journey to Assisi on Thursday, he is proposing the famous saint of that Italian city as a model for youth.
The Pope spoke of St. Francis today at a liturgy to prepare for Thursday's Day of Reflection, Dialogue and Prayer for Peace and Justice in the World, an event that will gather leaders of the world's religions as well as non-believers in Assisi to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the first such celebration convoked by Blessed John Paul II.
The liturgy replaced the customary general audience the Holy Father has on Wednesdays. But he concluded the event, held in Paul VI Hall due to rain, with his customary greeting to youth, the sick and newlyweds.
"May the example of St. Francis of Assisi, at whose tomb I will pray tomorrow, support you, dear young people, in the commitment of daily fidelity to Christ," the Pontiff said.
He added: "May he encourage you, dear sick, to always follow Jesus along the path of trial and suffering; may he help you, dear newlyweds, to make your family life a place of constant encounter with the love of God and neighbor."