Pope Benedict had a magical encounter with over one million youth at World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany in August. He also had important separate meetings of significance with Jewish leaders, another with Muslim leaders, and a third Ecumenical meeting with Protestant leaders.This book includes all the texts of his talks to the youth over that five day period, as well as to these other groups in Cologne.
The Pope’s inspiring words and messages to the young people were enthusiastically received, and comprise an important collection of talks for young people everywhere, and indeed for all followers of Christ.This 20th World Youth Day had a new point of reference: Pope Benedict XVI. It was the first that Pope John Paul II had not been at. But this collection fittingly begins with John Paul’s closing talk at WYD in 2004. Yet Benedict stamped this World Youth Day with his own personal style, with his gentleness and joy, and profound words about Christ’s love that the youth responded to with great exuberance.
The theme of this great gathering was “We Have Come to Worship Him.” Throughout these talks and encounters with the youth, Benedict reinforced the meaning of this theme by leading us to adore the Child who is God, whose love renews and transforms the whole world. Radiating from this book, as from World Youth Day, is a sheer joy over the beauty of faith, the beauty of Christ and of our life in Christ. Reading this book reinforces the conviction that, in the person of Pope Benedict XVI, God has given the Church a great Teacher of the faith, and also a great Pastor who knows the way that can lead us to intimacy with God. His special charism seems to be his ability to combine universal openness with Catholic identity, clear and comprehensive witness to the truth of Christ with the gentleness of fraternal charity.