His Holiness Pope Francis addressed a video message to the world’s young indigenous people holding their World Indigenous Youth Gathering in Soloy, Diocese of David, Panama, from January 17 to 21.  The young people will then move on to Panama city to join the World Youth Day (WYD) 2019, January 22-27, which the Pope is joining on January 23, 2019.

As reported by Vatican news, The Pontiff remarked that “Dear young people, I urge you that this meeting, which brings together hundreds of young people from different native peoples, may serve to reflect and celebrate your faith in Jesus Christ starting from the millennial richness of your original cultures. I urge that this be an opportunity for you to respond to the invitation, addressed to young people at other times, to be grateful for the history of your peoples and courageous in the face of the challenges that surround you, to move forward full of hope in building another possible world.” Further, His Holiness added, “Return to native cultures. Take care of the roots, because from the roots comes the strength that will make you grow, prosper and bear fruit. It must also be a way of showing the indigenous face of our Church in the context of WYD and of affirming our commitment to protect the Common House and to collaborate in building another possible world, that is more just and more human.”

The Pontiff encouraged the indigenous young people to hold on to their cultures and roots by fighting marginalization, exclusion, waste and impoverishment that is threatening them and build another world that is possible and that is more just and human.