Pope Francis urges teens to prepare hearts and minds to celebrate jubilee of mercy

January 25, 2016

VATICAN CITY - Don't fall into hate and fearmongering; make new friends instead, and always show concern for others, Pope Francis told the world's teens.

"Be brave and go against the tide, be friends of Jesus, who is the prince of peace," the pope said in a message for the Jubilee of Mercy for Young People.

In his written message for the youth jubilee to be celebrated in Rome and dioceses around the world April 23-25, Pope Francis said God invites everyone to celebrate the Year of Mercy.

"There are no walls or distances which can prevent the Father's mercy from reaching and embracing us."

While three days have been set aside for those between 13 and 16 years of age, every day of the jubilee year marks "a chance for us to grow in holiness."

Pope Francis reminded young people that preparing for a pilgrimage or jubilee celebration didn't just mean getting backpacks and banners ready, "but your hearts and minds as well."

It is a time to realize "life together as brothers and sisters is like a great party, perhaps the most beautiful party we can imagine, the endless party that Jesus has taught us to celebrate by his Spirit."