Pope urges parents to raise youth with joy, love of God

Francis visits Aparecida shrine

Pope urges parents to raise youth with joy, love of God

Aparecida, July 24 - Pope Francis urged parents around the world Wednesday to help young people discover joy, hope, and a love for God. In his homily during Mass at the Brazilian shrine of Aparecida, Francis spoke of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and her life's work in raising a good man. ''Today, looking forward to the World Youth Day which has brought me to Brazil, I too come to knock on the door of the house of Mary - who loved and raised Jesus,'' said Francis. ''That she may help all of us, pastors of God's people, parents and educators, to pass on to our young people the values that can help them build a nation and a world which is more just, united and fraternal''. ''For this reason I would like to speak of three simple attitudes: hopefulness, openness to being surprised by God, and living in joy''. The pope was greeted at the shrine by crowds anxious to see the Argentine-born Francis, who is Brazil for the week. Francis was welcomed by the bishop of Aparecida and president of Brazil's Episcopal Conference, Raymundo Damasceno, before he prayed before the image of the Virgin Mary of Aparecida. During his homily, Francis urged his audience never to lose hope, despite the ''dragon'' of evil in the world. ''The dragon, evil, is present in our history, but it does not have the upper hand,'' said Francis. ''The one with the upper hand is God, and God is our hope!''

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