For several months an event has been in preparation, aimed at highlighting an existential reality often ignored by the "world of adults". They are the thousands of adolescents, young people between 12 and 17 years old who, on Easter Monday, April 18, will gather in St. Peter's Square together with Pope Francis.
The initiative, promoted by the National Youth Pastoral Service of the Italian Episcopal Conference, has been proposed to the Pope as a "pilgrimage to Rome" through which to reflect on this particular "world", both wonderful and complex at the same time, which certainly deserves more attention from the whole of society. In the meantime, the Church begins to do so.
The effects of the pandemic
One of the reasons for a serious reflection on the evolutionary age of young people also derives from the limits seen during the Covid-19 pandemic, which, as shown by numerous investigations carried out in the field, has severely penalized their lives.
Beyond the limits registered in the field of education, with the alternative of distance learning, in the almost in which it has operated, and in the rethinking of shared domestic spaces.
For this reason the Italian Church has wanted to become an interpreter of this general malaise and has sent in all the dioceses a path to spread the awareness that it is important to invest in this strategic period for the life of young people. On his part, Pope Francis thanked them for the opportunity they have been offered to return once again to the young people, but also to emphasize the importance they have not only for the future but also for the present of society.
The dialogue between children and adults
Indeed, there are many occasions when the Holy Father has pointed out the need to preserve and "live" one's own roots, through a fruitful dialogue between children and young people, because as he often repeats in a very touching image, quoting an Argentinian poet, "everything that has the tree in flower comes from its roots" (Bernárdez).
The meeting on the Monday after Easter will obviously have its culmination in the dialogue between the young people and the Pope, but it will also be followed by a prayer vigil with the prayer and meditation of chapter 21 of the Gospel of John, on the meeting of Jesus with the disciples after the resurrection.
Commenting on the initiative, one of those responsible for youth ministry in Italy, Father Michele Falabretti, said: "we want to encourage and give signs of hope to those who are committed to the growth of young people and to those who keep the Christian community as guardians of a future of life born of faith in the risen Lord".
The logo of the event also wants to communicate this approach. It is constituted by the ICHTUS, a fish formatted by many blue circles arranged around the cross of the central element. It has a "vital" shape and wants to represent "the bath in the sea of human history". The cross is orange and resembles the "sun of Easter day", while the blue circles evoke so many small drops of water in memory of the Battesimo, source of unity.
The title is #seguimi, with the graphic symbol that in the world of social networks symbolizes research, to represent "a search for the meaning of one's own existence that is renewed in the communion of brothers with the Father, in the Love of the Son".