Greetings Card. Bagnasco

Vatican City

Francis’ audience with the International Union of European Guides and Scouts at EUROMOOT, Saturday 3 August 2019

Greeting address


Holy Father,

Thank you very much for accepting to meet the European Guides and Scouts at their European gathering, EUROMOOT, in which 5,000 young people aged between 17 and 21 participated. We are here with you in your home, in a perfect continuity of 2014, when you wrote a message that remains alive among the youth of the Eurojam held in France. Many of these faces – who were then between 11 and 16 years old – are now here to see you in person and listen to your words. Thank you, Your Holiness: we can rightly say that this is a family meeting, which in some way continues the spirit of the Youth Synod that has just ended, and for which we thank you. The journey of these young people has taken inspiration from the post-synodal Exhortation “Christus vivit”, and wants to be a concrete translation of it. 

Many times you, Holy Father, have recommended that we Pastors walk with young people, that their lives should embody in a special way the challenges of the way, of reaching a goal, of being together, of dialoguing with seriousness and joy, of doing something beautiful: well, all this belongs to the charism of Scouting, and is the method of their growth as good citizens and good Christians, explorers of the paths of Jesus, the great Chief and Saviour.

The theme that inspired this European gathering is the words of St John the Baptist: “Parate viam Domini”. It’s once more the journey that comes again as a speaking and demanding, mysterious and fascinating image: way, community, service are the images of their youth years, and – with the grace of God – of their entire existence. In these days, in whatever situation they have found themselves, they have lived together the experience of Lectio Divina and of the ancient copyist monks, who highlighted the Benedictine experience and handed over to the world the human and Christian heritage that founded the Europe that we all love and believe in.

Holy Father, their life is young and their experience is still short: for this reason, every young person needs grown-ups, their educators, present here. Great are their hearts, burning is their desire not to be important but to be useful, whatever the call the Lord will give each one. They – together with their leaders – want to look forward and think big, follow Jesus, the One who has the words of eternal life. You, the Successor of the Apostle Peter, tell us the words of the divine Master, remain in front of us, confirm the way of faith and life: no one wants to make a mistake, and everyone wants – in the Church – to follow God and serve others, they want to leave the world a little better. Thank you, we love you! 


Card. Angel Bagnasco

President of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences

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