VATICAN CITY, JUL 21, 2002 (VIS) - Before praying the Angelus this afternoon in Castelgandolfo, the Pope recalled the "unforgettable days" of World Youth Day during the Jubilee in Rome in August of 2000, in which "faithful young people enkindled a flame of hope for everyone. Now, young people will be in Toronto for the next few days where the 17th World Youth Day will be celebrated."

"The tragic events of September 11th and the conflict in the Holy Land," he continued, "have cast a dark cloud over the world. But Jesus urges his disciples not to be afraid and he tells them once again: 'You are the salt of the earth....you are the light of the world.' Young Christians, who will be in Toronto, are willing to respond to Christ: Here we are! On your word, and without fear, we will throw out the nets of the Gospel."

John Paul II indicated that on Tuesday he will leave "to meet those young people from all over the world who are coming to Toronto: I am going to pray with them, and to enjoy and share an enriching experience of faith with them."

After addressing young people who will not be able to be present in Toronto in a special way, he said: "We will all be united through prayer, invoking the One Spirit who makes all Christians one body in Christ. Toronto, metropolis with a cosmopolitan flare, is prepared to become for one week a world capital of youth, the future and hope of the Church and humanity!" 
Greeting the pilgrims present in different languages, the Holy Father asked for prayers for the fruits of World Youth Day.