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I will leave for Jesus soon: Pope responds to dying girl


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Dans une courte vidéo, François s'est adressé aux jeunes du monde entier.

Isabella H. de Carvalho - published on 06/26/23

In a video, the Pope thanks Edna, a 17-year-old Portuguese girl who will not be able to go to WYD due to a terminal illness

“Edna, I received your letter. Thank you. Thank you for your tenderness.” This is how Pope Francis responded to a letter written by a 17-year-old Portuguese girl affected by a terminal illness, in a video-message published on June 23, 2023. Edna Rodrigues wrote to the Pontiff to express her disappointment at not being able to participate in the upcoming World Youth Day, to be held in Lisbon from August 1 to 6, due to her health condition. 

“A few days ago, the doctor told me that he doesn’t know when I will leave for Jesus, but that it will be soon,” the young girl writes. “I was very sad because I thought I wouldn’t be able to go to WYD or see the Pope, as I always dreamed. So I decided to write you a letter so that you know how much you mean to me and how important you are to me and my family.”

“When I heard that WYD would be held in Portugal I was very happy, because every time I see the Pope on TV talking, I feel good, as if I had no illness that would prevent me from participating,” Edna writes. “I like you very much and my dream has always been to meet you.”

She concludes her letter by asking the Pope to pray for her and her family.

According to Vatican News, Pope Francis received her letter on June 22 and she has been suffering from this illness for the last 8 years. 

“Thank you”

In his video message Pope Francis thanked Edna multiple times for her letter and for sharing her experience. “Thank you for the peace that you have in your heart. This peace is like a seed that is sown in the heart, that is sown in the hearts of all who see you and all who speak to you,” the Pope says. 

“I accompany you on this journey you are making. I accompany you and I know that you will be well received. I accompany you by praying for you, praying with you, and looking at Jesus who always awaits us,” the Pontiff adds.

He concludes the video by imparting his blessing on Edna – “so that it also gives you strength on this journey” – and asking her to pray for him. 

More thank yous

The video dedicated to Edna was one of four that the Holy See shared last week, where Pope Francis addressed those who are organizing and will participate in WYD. One video was dedicated to the young people who are preparing to make this journey. In it the Pope assured he will be there and is “ready to go!”

The other two videos were addressed to the organizers and volunteers who are working to set up everything for WYD. The Pope thanked those who are “making the whole infrastructure of the youth meeting possible.” 

“I know that you are burning hours and hours of work to make this possible. And this is not the worst. The most difficult thing will come later, when in the middle of the Day you will have to maintain the structures of order, health, food, cleaning, so many things that are necessary. You do not appear as protagonists of the Youth Day, but you support it,” the Pope explained. He thanked them for being “a seed” that will “blossom from below” and allow “fruit to appear.” 

To the young volunteers that have signed up to lend a hand during WYD, Pope Francis thanked them for their “generosity,” which is “like a noble wine,” which if lost makes life “very mediocre, very boring.” 

So far over 20,000 people have signed up as volunteers.

“Generosity develops just like you do, working for a cause, and you are working for a great cause, which is the meeting of the youth,” the Pope said. “Never lose hope in life because hope is what pulls you forward. Never lose it. If not, you will be very boring. Hope is what gives you joy.”

“I give you my blessing,” the Pontiff concluded. “Pray for me, and I´ll pray for you.”

“See you in Lisbon!”

Pope FrancisPortugalWorld Youth Day
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