At the Angelus, World Youth Day, Cologne

Author: Benedict XVI

At the end of the closing Mass of the 20th World Youth Day, 21 August 2005, before praying the Angelus, the Holy Father thanked all who were involved in its preparation and organization. He announced the next World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia, 2008.

Dear Friends,

We have come to the conclusion of this marvellous celebration and indeed of the 20th World Youth Day. In my heart I sense welling up within me a single thought: "Thank you!". I am sure - and I feel - that this thought finds an echo in each one of you. God himself has implanted it in our hearts and he has sealed it with this Eucharist, which literally means "thanksgiving".

Yes, dear young people, our gratitude, born from faith, is expressed in our song of praise to him, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who has offered to us a great sign of his immense love.

Our "thank you", to begin with, rises up to God - only he could have given it to us in this way, as it was -, and our thanks are now extended to all those who have been involved in its preparation and organization.

World Youth Day was a gift, but, as it developed, was also the result of much work. For this I must renew my gratitude particularly to the Pontifical Council for the Laity, under its President Archbishop Stanis³aw Ry³ko, ably assisted by the Secretary, Bishop Josef Clemens, who for years was my Secretary, and also to my Confrères from the German Bishops' Conference, in the first place, of course, to the Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Joachim Meisner. I am grateful to the political and administrative Authorities, who have made a great contribution, who have generously helped and who have ensured that each event has run smoothly.

In a particular way I thank the many volunteers from all of the German Dioceses and from all the nations. A cordial word of thanks goes also to the many contemplative communities who have supported us in prayer during this World Youth Day.

And now, as the living presence of the Risen Christ in our midst nourishes our faith and hope, I am pleased to announce that the next World Youth Day will take place in Sydney, Australia, in 2008. We entrust to the maternal guidance of Mary Most Holy, the future course of the young people of the whole world. Let us now recite the Angelus.

Angelus Domini ...


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