At Recitation of the Angelus, World Youth Day, Cologne
Pope Benedict XVI
Dear Friends,

We have come to the conclusion of this marvellous celebration and indeed of the Twentieth World Youth Day. In my heart I sense welling up within me a single thought: "Thank you!" I am sure 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 given us yet another sign of his immense love.

Our words of thanks rise up to God through the gift of this unforgettable meeting, and are now extended to all those who have been involved in its preparation and organization. I wish to renew my gratitude particularly to the Pontifical Council for the Laity, under its President Archbishop Stanisław Ryłko, ably assisted by the Secretary, Bishop Josef Clemens, and also to my Confrères from the German Bishops’ Conference, in the first place to the Archbishop of Cologne, Cardinal Joachim Meisner. I am grateful to the political and administrative authorities who have ensured that each event has run smoothly; I thank the many volunteers from German dioceses and from different countries. 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.