Publication of Pope Benedict XVI’s Message for World Youth Day 2011

06 Sep 2010

6 September 2010

Publication of Pope Benedict XVI’s Message for the 2011 World Youth Day in Madrid (16 – 21 August)

Theme: “Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith” (cf. Col 2:7)

The text of Pope Benedict XVI’s message for the 26th World Youth Day, which will take place in Madrid from 16 – 21 August 2011, has been published. The theme of the message is Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith.  

In his message Pope Benedict reflects on his youth and his path to priesthood. He also reflects on the last World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia. He encourages young people to reflect and to seek for something beyond everyday life: “There is a moment, when we are young, when each of us wonders: what meaning does my life have? What purpose and direction should I give to it? This is a very important moment, and it can worry us, perhaps for some time. We start wondering about the kind of work we should take up, the kind of relationships we should establish, the friendships we should cultivate… Here, once more, I think of my own youth. I was somehow aware quite early on that the Lord wanted me to be a priest. Then later, after the war, when I was in the seminary and at university on the way towards that goal, I had to recapture that certainty. I had to ask myself: is this really the path I was meant to take? Is this really God’s will for me? Will I be able to remain faithful to him and completely at his service? A decision like this demands a certain struggle. It cannot be otherwise. But then came the certainty: this is the right thing! Yes, the Lord wants me, and he will give me strength. If I listen to him and walk with him, I become truly myself. What counts is not the fulfilment of my desires, but of his will. In this way life becomes authentic.”

Pope Benedict also comments on the need for young people to strengthen their faith: “Even though the set of values underpinning society comes from the Gospel – values like the sense of the dignity of the person, of solidarity, of work and of the family –, we see a certain “eclipse of God” taking place, a kind of amnesia which, albeit not an outright rejection of Christianity, is nonetheless a denial of the treasure of our faith, a denial that could lead to the loss of our deepest identity. For this reason, dear friends, I encourage you to strengthen your faith in God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. You are the future of society and of the Church!”

The full text of Pope Benedict’s Message is available at the following link:

Further information:
Martin Long, Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Brenda Drumm, Communications Officer (087 233 7797)