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Ready to soak up strength from young people, Francis now in Portugal

Pope Francis talks to journalists aboard his plane before landing at the Figo Maduro air base in Lisbon to attend the World Youth Day

GUGLIELMO MANGIAPANE | AFP

I.Media - published on 08/02/23

The Holy Father has arrived to Lisbon for a handful of events with young people

“I will return rejuvenated!” said Pope Francis as he chatted with journalists during the flight from Rome to Lisbon for World Youth Day. His plane landed at 10:43 a.m. this August 2 in the Portuguese capital, where the Pope will stay until August 6.

During the three-hour flight, as is customary, the 86-year-old Pontiff walked up and down the aisle, greeting one by one the 78 journalists on board the A320 chartered by ITA Airways.

“Thank you very much for your company and your work,” said the head of the Catholic Church into the microphone, before beginning the greetings, shaking hands, exchanging a few words with the journalists, stopping to receive a few gifts. “I’ll be going home rejuvenated,” he assured one of the journalists. In fact, meetings with the younger generation are often an opportunity for the Latin American pope to rejuvenate, as he enjoys being in contact with them.

“We’ll continue to stir things up!”

To a journalist who pointed out that this was the Pontiff’s fourth WYD, 10 years after the first WYD in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Pope said in Spanish: “We’ll keep on making trouble!” A reference to his frequent call to young people to cause a “lío” — an informal Spanish word that’s difficult to translate because of its many uses. The Vatican has rendered it at times as “noise,” but it’s more than sound that the Holy Father implies. It’s stirring things up, causing a ruckus … in short, getting away from any restrictions that might be an impediment to the Holy Spirit’s action in the world and in our lives, and yes, perhaps making a “mess.”

The Pope also mentioned that the organizers have predicted “more than a million young people” in Lisbon.

A handful of events are planned with young people from all over the world: the official welcome on August 3, the Way of the Cross on August 4, the prayer vigil on August 5, and the concluding mass on August 6.

Tags:
Pope FrancisWorld Youth DayYouth
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