Pope Francis ended his Palm Sunday Angelus by greeting the faithful “taking part through the means of social communication”. In particular, he said, “my thoughts go out to the young people all over the world”, who are living today’s Diocesan World Youth Day “in an unprecedented way”. Diocesan World Youth Day 2020 is marked on Palm Sunday, 5 April.
Sunday 5 April should have also marked “the handing over of the Cross” from the young people of Panama, where the last World Youth Day took place in 2019, to those of Lisbon, where the next World Youth Day will be taking place in 2022. “This very significant gesture” has been postponed and will now be taking place on Christ the King Sunday, on 22 November, said the Pope. “While waiting for that moment, I urge you, young people to cultivate and witness to the hope, to the generosity, the solidarity of which we are all in need in this difficult moment”, he added.
Looking ahead, Pope Francis noted that Monday 6 April marks the UN’s International Day of Sports for Development and Peace. In this period “many sporting events have been suspended”, said the Pope. Despite this, he continued, we are able to see the best fruits of sports emerge: “resistance, team spirit, fraternity…”. So, he urged, “let’s launch sports for peace and development once again!”.
Pope Francis concluded by asking the faithful to “journey in faith toward Holy Week in which Jesus suffers, dies and rises”. He invited all those who are unable to participate in the liturgical celebrations to “gather together in prayer at home, aided by the means of technology”.
He said, “Let us hold close spiritually those who are sick and their families, and all those who self-sacrificingly care for them. Let us pray for the deceased in the light of paschal faith. Everyone is present in our hearts, in our thoughts, in our prayers.”
Finally, the Pope prayed that Mary “walk with us and sustain our hope”, as we “follow Jesus on the way of the cross that leads us to the glory of the Resurrection”.