Pope Francis bid farewell to around two million pilgrims who came to Kraków for World Youth Day with a mass on the final day of the event on Sunday.
World Youth Day in the city of Kraków, southern Poland, was one of the largest religious gatherings in the world.
In the final homily, Pope Francis said God “demands of us real courage, the courage to be more powerful than evil, by loving everyone, even our enemies”.
He also encouraged young people gathered near Kraków to believe “in a new humanity, one that rejects hatred between peoples.”
The Pontiff emboldened young pilgrims to adopt an attitude of commitment, “to take a risk, because life is not meant to be tucked away”.
“Jesus calls you, as he did Zacchaeus, by name. Your name is precious to him,” the pontiff said, referring to Sunday’s Gospel.
“Trust the memory of God: his memory is not a hard disk that saves and archives all our data, but a heart filled with tender compassion,” the Pope added.
Pope Francis also announced that the next World Youth Day festival will be held in Panama in 2019.
Pope Francis is yet to meet with the festival’s volunteers, the Organizing Committee, and charity donors.
The Pontiff was set to fly back to Rome at about 6:00 pm CET.
During his five-day pilgrimage to Poland, Pope Francis visited the Auschwitz concentration camp, celebrated Masses and held a number of meetings with young Catholic faithful from all over the world.(ał/rg)
Source: IAR, Vatican Radio