“Always keep a smile,” Pope Francis said to young Italians, who he encouraged to “always to look forward, to look at the joy that is Jesus.”
Pope Francis unexpectedly met a group of 165 confirmed boys and girls from the diocese of Chiavari, in Liguria, on pilgrimage to Rome, near the House of St. Martha of the Vatican.
The young people were accompanied by their bishop, Bishop Alberto Tanasini, and their priests.
“I like to talk with young people, because young people have so much joy, so much desire to live,” said the Pope, according to the Vatican Insider. He invited them to “always” smile. “When a young man is sad, what happens in his heart?” he asked.
“Be courageous, go forward without fear,” exhorted the pope.
A young girl invited the pope to go to Chiavari and he replied: “But first, I must learn the Genoese!” Two others handed him a basket with typical products, including pesto.
At the request of Pope Francis, the young people prayed together a Hail Mary.
After giving his blessing he asked: “Pray for me, do not forget,” the pope repeated once more: “Merry, eh! Forward with joy. And thank you for the visit. ”
Last Sunday, 3 September, after the Angelus, Pope Francis had unexpectedly met a group of Bavarians on pilgrimage in Rome, under the guidance of the Vicar General, Fr. Peter Beer.
They were a group of mothers who raised their children alone, accompanied by the latter who came from the diocese of Munich-Freising. The pope exchanged with the mothers and with the children who sang for the pope and the pope gave them his blessing.