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Pope Joins Madagascar’s Youth for Joyful Celebration

September 07, 2019. ‘People told me beforehand of your remarkable joy and enthusiasm, and they were not wrong!’

There were dancing and singing and moving to the music. It may have officially been a “youth vigil” but it certainly looked and sounded like a party.

Pope Francis addressed young people from all parts of Madagascar September 7, 2019, at Soamandrakizay Diocesan Field, Antananarivo. He is on the second leg of this September 4-10 apostolic journey to Africa.

“Thank you too, dear young people, who have come from every corner of this beautiful island, despite the efforts and difficulty this has entailed for many of you,” the Holy Father said. “And yet, here you are! That makes me all the more happy to join you for this prayer vigil to which the Lord Jesus has invited us. Thank you for the songs and traditional dances you performed with such enthusiasm. People told me beforehand of your remarkable joy and enthusiasm, and they were not wrong!”

In a moving and vibrant speech, the Pope reminded the young people of God’s love for them and that each person is precious. He also encouraged them in their mission in life, looking for the good in each person and avoiding the temptations that can draw a person away from Jesus.

Following his talk, the Holy Father (as is his practice) spent time “working the crowd” and at times was engulfed by the young people celebrating their opportunity to be with him.

“To Mary, I entrust the lives of each of you, and those of your families and your friends. May you never lack the light of hope, and may Madagascar be increasingly the land the Lord has dreamt of. May Our Lady accompany you and protect you always,” Francis concluded…

“And, please, do not forget to pray for me.”