Even though the final day of his visit had come and it was time to say goodbye, the Holy Father made time to meet with the Vietnamese Catholic community at McNichols Arena and pay a visit to the children of Mount Saint Vincent Home orphanage before making his way to Cherry Creek State Park.
The celebration of World Youth Day in Denver culminated in the closing Mass at Cherry Creek State Park, celebrated on the Solemnity of the Assumption. It is estimated that nearly one million people gathered for that Mass — the largest gathering ever in Colorado. His message to those gathered was simple: Be not afraid.
“Young pilgrims, Christ needs you to enlighten the world and to show it the ‘path to life.’ The challenge is to make the Church’s ‘yes’ to Life concrete and effective. The struggle will be long, and it needs each one of you. Place your intelligence, your talents, your enthusiasm, your compassion and your fortitude at the service of life! Have no fear. The outcome of the battle for Life is already decided, even though the struggle goes on against great odds and with much suffering. Do not be afraid to go out on the streets and into public places, like the first Apostles who preached Christ and the Good News of salvation in the squares of cities, towns and villages. This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel. It is the time to preach it from the rooftops!”
Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ, for life,” the Holy Father concluded. “Thank you for all of us; I say it again, thank you, thank you for the life you gave us and that you are giving us, you are permitting us. Thank you through your Mother, Our Lady. In the day of her Assumption, thank you, Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father.”