Pope Tells Young and Unemployed to Take Heart


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(22 Jun 09 - RV) Pope Benedict yesterday told young people and especially the unemployed that the Church will not abandon them, asking them in turn to not abandon the Church.

The Holy Father's appeal was part of his address to the priests, religious and youth of San Giovanni Rotondo Southern Italy, the last appointment of his one day pastoral visit to the town of St Pius of Pietrelcina, more familiarly known as Padre Pio.

Pope Benedict greeted the large numbers of the young people who packed the Church dedicated to St Pius of Pietrelcina and he told them he was well aware of the problems they face today, which threaten to stifle their youthful enthusiasm. He urged them not to lose heart, stressing the importance of their input in building Christian communities, and just societies that are open to hope.

The Pope also encouraged the young men and women to follow Padre Pio's example, in cultivating a daily relationship with Christ through prayer and through listening to his word.

Earlier Sunday afternoon Pope Benedict also spoke with the patients and employees of the hospital founded by Padre Pio, the "Home for Relief from Suffering", where he said that suffering cannot be understood on a human level, but requires faith in God, who alone has the power to remove it.

The Holy Father recalled Padre Pio's desire, when he launched the hospital in 1956, that "the commitment of science to treating the patient never be separated from a filial trust in God, infinitely tender and merciful."

Pope Benedict noted that, "In hospitals one touches with one's hands the preciousness of our existence, but also its fragility."

He encouraged the hospital workers to "be reservoirs of love" and to be faithful to the mission left to them by the Saint.