Pope Francis has released a video message for those young Catholics attending the World Youth Day celebrations in Poland, July 25-31. "I look forward to meeting the young people from throughout the world gathered in Krakow and having the opportunity to meet the beloved Polish nation," Pope Francis says at the beginning of the video. In his message, the pope praised the efforts of Polish Catholics hosting the celebrations and touched on how the strongly-Catholic nation was able to overcome its difficult history "through the power of faith." The pontiff went on to say how he is looking forward to meeting young Catholics from all around the world. "I am very anxious to meet you and to offer the world a new sign of harmony, a mosaic of different faces, from many races, languages, peoples and cultures, but all united in the name of Jesus, who is the face of mercy," he said.
Some 2.5 million young people from around the world are expected to attend the gathering in Krakow, the childhood home of St. Pope John Paul II who initiated the gathering in 1985. See the pope's full video message below:
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