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On World Youth Day 2005 - 'Be Not Afraid!'

"Be Not Afraid!"

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 21, 2005 (Zenit) - Here is the address John Paul II prepared for today's Angelus, read at the end of the Palm Sunday Mass by Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute of the Vatican Secretariat of State.

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

1. I greet you with great joy at the end of the solemn celebration of Palm Sunday, and I thank Cardinal Camillo Ruini who, in my name, presided over it.

Twenty years ago now, precisely in this square, the World Youth Days began. For this reason, today I address young people in a special way -- you, dear youths here present, and those of the whole world.

2. Dear young people! In the forthcoming month of August, World Youth Day will take place in Cologne, in the heart of Germany and of Europe. In that city's splendid cathedral are venerated the relics of the holy Wise Men, which for this reason have become, in a certain sense, your guides to this appointment. They came from the East to render homage to Jesus and declared: "We have come to do him homage" (Matthew 2:2). These words, so rich in meaning, constitute the theme of your spiritual and catechetical journey toward World Youth Day.

Today you adore the cross of Christ, which you carry throughout the world, because you have believed in the love of God, fully revealed in Christ crucified.

3. Dear young people! I realize ever more how providential and prophetic it is that, precisely this day, Palm Sunday and of the Passion of the Lord, has become your day. This feast contains a special grace of joy united to the cross, which summarizes the Christian mystery.

Today I say to you: Continue tirelessly on the path undertaken to be everywhere witnesses of the glorious cross of Christ. Be not afraid! May the joy of the Lord, crucified and risen, be your strength, and may Mary Most Holy always be by your side.

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