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World Youth Day: Celebrating Young Faith View Comments
By Edited by Christopher Heffron

IN AUGUST OF 2010, Pope Benedict XVI gave this hope-filled message to young Catholics about their participation in World Youth Day (WYD) in Madrid on August 16-21, 2011.

“The Church depends on you! She needs your lively faith, your creative charity and the energy of your hope. Your presence renews, rejuvenates and gives new energy to the Church. That is why World Youth Days are a grace, not only for you, but for the entire People of God.”

The following young Catholics are bringing that energy to 2011’s World Youth Day.

St. Anthony Messenger wanted to know what these young people did to prepare for the trip, what they hope to gain from it and how their faith will be deepened by their journey.

These are their stories.

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Christopher Heffron is the assistant editor of this publication. He wishes to express his gratitude to Mike Meyer, coordinator of youth and young adult ministry at St. Denis Parish in Versailles, Ohio, who helped to facilitate these reflections, as well as the young Catholics who participated in this article.

Thank you for your comments. Editors will review all posts before they are visible on the website.

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Giles Mary of St. Joseph: In the same year that a power-hungry Napoleon Bonaparte led his army into Russia, Giles Mary of St. Joseph ended a life of humble service to his Franciscan community and to the citizens of Naples. 
<p>Francesco was born in Taranto to very poor parents. His father’s death left the 18-year-old Francesco to care for the family. Having secured their future, he entered the Friars Minor at Galatone in 1754. For 53 years he served at St. Paschal’s Hospice in Naples in various roles, such as cook, porter or most often as official beggar for that community. </p><p>“Love God, love God” was his characteristic phrase as he gathered food for the friars and shared some of his bounty with the poor—all the while consoling the troubled and urging everyone to repent. The charity which he reflected on the streets of Naples was born in prayer and nurtured in the common life of the friars. The people whom Giles met on his begging rounds nicknamed him the “Consoler of Naples.” He was canonized in 1996.</p> American Catholic Blog Jesus, our crucified Lord, you know us better than we know ourselves. Help us to see the ways in which we not only act out in selfishness, greed, or shortsightedness, but also in those ways we choose to ignore, forget, and step over aspects of our lives and others for which we need 
forgiveness.

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