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Pope says language of the heart required with young people

'Courage, maturity and much prayer' needed with troubled youth

31 March, 16:26
Pope says language of the heart required with young people (ANSA) - Vatican City, March 31 - Reaching the hearts of young people, especially those who feel marginalized and excluded, requires a different language and a mature approach, Pope Francis said on Monday.

It also requires an approach directed to the heart as well as the minds of young people, who today struggle with fears related to employment and their futures, the pope told members of the Salesians Society of Don Bosco.

The Salesian Society is a Roman Catholic religious institute founded in the late nineteenth century by Saint John Bosco to care for the young and poor, and has had a certain focus on education of boys for the priesthood. The pope said that Holy Spirit would assist the religious institute to understand the expectations and challenges facing young people.

"Think of the vast reality of unemployment, with all of the negative consequences," said Pope Francis. "Think of the addictions, which sadly are manifold, but stem from a common root of an absence of true love. Reaching marginalized youth requires courage, maturity and much prayer".

Francis also said he supported the community approach of the Salesians.

"The humanizing power of the Gospel is demonstrated by the fraternity lived in community, comprised of welcome, respect, mutual help, understanding, kindness, forgiveness and joy," said the pope. "The familial spirit bequeathed by Don Bosco is a great help in this respect, encouraging perseverance and building an attraction to the consecrated life."