Pope opens free laundromat for the poor

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Pope Francis has mentioned on several occasions that he does not expect to have a long pontificate.

The Mass coincided with the 32nd World Youth Day, which this year holds the theme "The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name", and is the first step in preparing for the global 2019 WYD encounter in Panama.

Jesus never promised honor and success would come to those who follow him, rather, the path to final victory requires picking up the cross and carrying it every day, Pope Francis said. He is also gearing up for the next big meeting of the world's bishops this fall, dedicated to young people.

"Young people are the protagonists", he said, explaining that this includes agnostics, those who are far from the Church or struggle with their faith, and even those who consider themselves to be atheists.

"You also are asked to foresee and prevent the negative consequences that can cause a distorted use of the knowledge and ability to manipulate life", he said April 9 during an audience with the Italian National Committee for Biosecurity, Biotechnologies and Life Sciences.

Recalling what he told youth during the 2016 International WYD in Krakow, Francis said that "it's bad to see a young person ready to go into retirement at the age of 20".

Young People. That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life.

Like Mary, "the world today needs young people that go with haste, who don't get exhausted of going with haste".

"May they be put to the service of dignified and healthy lives for all, now and in the future, and may they help render our common home more livable and supportive, more cared for and safe-guarded" he said.

Francis closed his speech by emphasizing to youth, as he often has, the importance of speaking with grandparents, saying this "bridge of dialogue" between elderly and youth is needed today "more than ever".

"It's hard to say this, but often times young people are treated as garbage", he said. "We must take risks".

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