Monday, November 22, 2010


According to tradition, Cecilia was a young Roman woman who took a vow of virginity and was beheaded when she refused to renounce her vow and her faith. She is the patron saint of musicians. As we honor her memory, let us pray for the young people of Latin America by reflecting on part of a speech that Pope Benedict gave in 2007 when he attended the Fifth Conference of Latin American Bishops in Brazil and met with young people there.

But as I gaze at you young people here present—you who radiate so much joy and enthusiasm—I see you as Christ sees you: with a gaze of love and trust, in the certainty that you have found the true way. You are the youth of the Church. I send you out, therefore, on the great mission of evangelizing young men and women who have gone astray in this world like sheep without a shepherd. Be apostles of youth. Invite them to walk with you, to have the same experience of faith, hope, and love; to encounter Jesus so that they may feel truly loved, accepted, able to realize their full potential. May they too may discover the sure ways of the commandments, and, by following them, come to God.

You can be the builders of a new society if you seek to put into practice a conduct inspired by universal moral values, but also a personal commitment to a vitally important human and spiritual formation. Men and women who are ill-prepared for the real challenges presented by a correct interpretation of the Christian life in their own surroundings will easily fall prey to all the assaults of materialism and secularism, which are more and more active at all levels.

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