Last May 18 would have been your 87th Birthday our beloved John Paul the Great. 12 years ago on the Parade Grounds of University of Santo Tomas, in Manila, where I was on my second year in college, you challenged us, the youth, with the most profound and deeply inspiring words that have always been the theme of your Pontificate, “Be not afraid!”. Words that
will take another 10 years to sink in and realize the challenge you had placed at the forefront of our journey. Now, a decade has passed and while I still tremble standing at the door of the future it is not so much of the uncertainty of life that I fear more but on the extent of suffering that has to be endured with love. My past had taught me that with fear comes a secured future but your words pushed me into realizing that the future depends on the strength of fortitude. That there is no reason to fear not being afraid. To you our beloved Pope, just as what the youth of the Filipino people chanted that day, we say to you now, “JP2, We Love You!”
” Most of you are still young, and youth constitutes a very special chapter in the book of life: there is enthusiasm, energy, hope and expectation. The “problems of life” have not yet come to stay. Instead, you are acquiring the skills and experience which will make you mature citizens of your nation and true sons and daughters of the Church – the Church which loves you and needs your co–operation.
What does the Church look for in Filipino youth? For help in saving your own generation from the futility, frustration and emptiness in which so many of your contemporaries find themselves. When I think of all the young men and women who should be the strength, the hope and even the conscience of society, but instead are caught in a web of uncertainty, or are desperately seeking happiness along paths that cannot lead to happiness – then I pray all the more that the young Catholics of the end of the twentieth century will come to an ever more profound knowledge of Jesus Christ and will be convinced of the marvelous challenge and adventure which he represents for every one of us.
In Christ and in his teaching you will find “the way, and the truth, and the life”. In him you will discover the answer to all the fundamental questions. The world and the Church need young people who know that the beauty of living consists in giving oneself to others, in doing good to others. Let the light of Christ enlighten your consciences to true good, and to the evil of sin and everything that tarnishes true love.” – John Paul II, Manila Philippines