21-July-2008 -- ZENIT.org News Agency |

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More Blessed to Give Than Receive, Pope Recalls, Thanks Organizers, Benefactors for Confidence in Youth

SYDNEY, Australia, JULY 20, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is recalling that it is more blessed to give than to receive, and he affirmed that Youth Day benefactors and organizers will be blessed for their generosity.

The Pope said this Sunday evening in a brief address to benefactors and organizers of the 23rd World Youth Day. The Holy Father left Australia Monday morning local time.

"Cardinal [George] Pell [of Sydney] has alluded to the great sacrifices which you have made in organizing this wonderful day in the life of the Church," the Holy Father said. "I thank you personally, not only for those sacrifices, but even more for the confidence you have shown in our young people and your trust in God's grace at work in their hearts. Let us pray that the investment which so many of you have made in them will bear fruit in their own lives, for the life of Christ's Church and for the future of our world."

Alluding to the theme of the youth event, the Pontiff said: "I am sure, dear friends, that your own participation in the preparations for this World Youth Day has given you a particular experience of the Holy Spirit's power.

"No doubt while planning this great international gathering, and trying to face every possible eventuality, you had your moments of worry and concern, and even fear and trepidation about how things would finally turn out. Now, in retrospect, you can see the abundant harvest which the Spirit has brought forth from your prayers, your perseverance and your hard work. How many good seeds have been sown in these short days!"

Some 400,000 people crowded Randwick Racecourse for the closing Mass on Sunday, making it the biggest gathering ever on Australian soil.

"Dear friends," Benedict XVI added, "St. Paul, who devoted his entire life to the service of the Gospel, reminds us that 'it is more blessed to give than to receive.' Your generosity and sacrifice have been an essential, yet often hidden, ingredient in the success of this World Youth Day. [...] May you never doubt the truth of our Lord's promise that, whenever we give our creativity, energy, resources, and our very selves to him, we will gain them back abundantly."

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