Tells Mexican Children on Saturday of Their Special Place in His Heart
LEON, Mexico, MARCH 25, 2012 (Zenit.org).- On Saturday thousands of young people gathered to hear the words of Pope Benedict XVI in Leon’s Plaza de la Paz.
“You have a very special place in the Pope’s heart,” he told them, speaking from the balcony of the house of Count Rul.
The Pope’s address to the young people came towards the end of the day, following a private meeting he had held with Mexico’s president, Felipe Calderón. He had also received the keys of the city of Leon from the mayor, Ricardo Sheffield.
Benedict XVI expressed his closeness to all the children of Mexico, especially those who suffer, or who have been victims of violence, or are lacking food.
“I am grateful for this encounter of faith, and for the festive and joyful presence expressed in song,” the Pope said as he thanked them for the songs they had previously sung for him, Caminos de Guanajuato and Cielito lindo.
“Today we are full of jubilation, and this is important. God wants us to be happy always. He knows us and he loves us. If we allow the love of Christ to change our heart, then we can change the world. This is the secret of authentic happiness.”
“This place where we stand today has a name which expresses the yearning present in the heart of each and every person: ‘la paz’, (Peace),” he said.
The gift of peace
“This is a gift which comes from on high. ‘Peace be with you’ (Jn 20:21),” the Pope explained. “These are the words of the Risen Lord. We hear them during each Mass, and today they resound anew in this place, with the hope that each one of you will be transformed, becoming a sower and messenger of that peace for which Christ offered his life.”
He urged them to be close to Jesus, “as the best of friends.”
“He will never tire of speaking to those who always love and who do good,” the Pontiff told the young people gathered in the plaza.
The Pope told them that each one present was a gift of God to Mexico. “Your family, the Church, your school and those who have responsibility in society must work together to ensure that you receive a better world as your inheritance, without jealousies and divisions,” he said.
The Holy Father then invited everyone to protect and care for children, “so that nothing may extinguish their smile, but that they may live in peace and look to the future with confidence.”
Benedict XVI concluded by saying he wished he had more time to spend with them, but that while he now had to leave they could remain united in prayer. “So I invite you to pray continually, even in your homes; in this way, you will experience the happiness of speaking about God with your families."
“Pray for everyone, and also for me,” he asked. “I will pray for all of you, so that Mexico may be a place in which everyone can live in serenity and harmony.”