Official Hymn of the World Youth Day 2013 : Hope of the Morning (Esperança do Amanhecer)


As the World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is approaching in about ten days time, here is the official hymn of the World Youth Day 2013, titled “Hope of the Morning” in English and “Esperança do Amanhecer” in the original Portuguese language.


Portuguese Original Lyric :

Esperança do Amanhecer

Sou marcado desde sempre
com o sinal do Redentor,
que sobre o monte, o Corcovado,
abraça o mundo com Seu amor.


Cristo nos convida:
“Venham, meus amigos!”
Cristo nos envia:
“Sejam missionários!”

Juventude, primavera:
esperança do amanhecer;
quem escuta este chamado
acolhe o dom de crer!
Quem nos dera fosse a terra,
fosse o mundo todo assim!
Não à guerra, fora o ódio,
Só o bem e paz a não ter fim.


Cristo nos convida:
“Venham, meus amigos!”
Cristo nos envia:
“Sejam missionários!”


Do nascente ao poente,
nossa casa não tem porta,
nossa terra não tem cerca,
nem limites o nosso amor!
Espalhados pelo mundo,
conservamos o mesmo ardor.
É Tua graça que nos sustenta
nos mantém fiéis a Ti, Senhor!


Cristo nos convida:
“Venham, meus amigos!”
Cristo nos envia:
“Sejam missionários!”

Atendendo ao Teu chamado:
“Vão e façam, entre as nações,
um povo novo, em unidade,
para mim seus corações!”
Anunciar Teu Evangelho
a toda gente é transformar
o velho homem em novo homem
em mundo novo que vai chegar.


English Lyric :


Hope of the Morning

Under the shadow marked forever

with the Sign of the Redeemer,

On the hilltop, Corcovado,

The whole world is filled with His Love.


Refrain :

Christ invites us :

“Come to Me, be My friends”

Christ, He sends us :

“Go! Be missionaries”


Can you see it, it is springtime

we have the hope of the dawn

Can you hear Him? He is calling

Receive His gift of faith!

Can you imagine, if every nation

Every tribe and tongue, this generation

saying no to war, no to hatred

Love, peace, and goodness reigns


Refrain :

Christ invites us :

“Come to Me, be My friends”

Christ, He sends us :

“Go! Be missionaries”


From the East to the West,

our house is open we have no doors,

Our land has no fences,

There are no limits to our love!

We are scattered throughout the world

But we all keep the same zeal

It is Your grace that sustains us

and keeps us faithful to You!


Refrain :

Christ invites us :

“Come to Me, be My friends”

Christ, He sends us :

“Go! Be missionaries”


We hear You, as You say

“Go make disciples, of all nations”

A new people in unity

Bring their hearts to Me!

Proclaiming Your Gospel

Lives are changed, we’re not the same

A new creation, the old has gone

We know a new world will come


Refrain :

Christ invites us :

“Come to Me, be My friends”

Christ, He sends us :

“Go! Be missionaries”

Pope Francis’ Schedule of Celebrations and Events from May to July 2013 (After Pentecost to World Youth Day)

Pope Francis’ schedule for the months of May to July 2013 (After Pentecost Sunday to World Youth Day 2013)


May 2013


Thursday, 23 May 2013 at 6 pm in the Basilica of St. Peter, Vatican

Profession of faith with the bishops of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI)


Sunday, 26 May 2013 at 9.30 am (Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity)

Visit to the Parish of St. Elizabeth and Zachary in the Diocese of Rome, followed by Holy Mass


Thursday, 30 May 2013 at 7 pm in the Lateran Square (in front of the Lateran Basilica)

Holy Mass of the Solemnity of the Most Precious Body and Blood of our Lord (Corpus Christi), followed by Eucharistic Adoration and Procession to the Basilica of St. Mary Major.


June 2013


Sunday, 2 June 2013 (9th Ordinary Sunday) at 6 pm in the Basilica of St. Peter, Vatican

Eucharistic Adoration


Sunday, 16 June 2013 (11th Ordinary Sunday)at 10.30 am in the St. Peter’s Square, Vatican

Holy Mass to commemorate the Encyclical (by Blessed Pope John Paul II) Evangelium Vitae, on the Sanctity of Life (Literal : The Gospel of Life)


Saturday, 29 June 2013 at 9.30 am in the Basilica of St. Peter, Vatican

Holy Mass of the great Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, with the imposition of the pallium on the newly appointed Metropolitan Archbishops by the Pope


July 2013


Sunday, 7 July 2013 (14th Ordinary Sunday) at 9.30 am in the Basilica of St. Peter, Vatican

Holy Mass with seminarians and religious novices


Monday, 22 July 2013 – Monday, 29 July 2013

World Youth Day 2013 celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Why did Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI relinquished the Papacy? (My personal opinion)

In my personal opinion, why our beloved Pope Benedict XVI, now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, had decided to step down from his position and relinquish the Papacy, is because of three main factors and events that potentially play major roles in shaping his decision. All of these factors are tied to the first factor, that is his health.


Here are the three factors and events that in my opinion made our Pope Emeritus did what he had done :


1. Health : The Pope’s failing health due to his old age is likely the main reason why he had decided to relinquish the Papacy. Although indeed, he is now at 85 being much more vigorous as compared to Blessed Pope John Paul II’s last years, but as the Pope has great tasks to be done, for the sake of the Lord, and His people, Pope Benedict chose humility and step aside for someone else to take over the good works he had started.

He realised that his increasing difficulty in walking, most likely due to osteoarthritis and the problems with his vision will eventually impair him and preventing him from exercising his ministry as the Bishop of Rome. It has also been reported that Pope Benedict too suffers from Parkinson’s, although likely a mild one or one that is still at an early stage. This disease is well known for the one that debilitated Blessed Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict, being very close to the previous Pope, would really want to avoid another of many years of debilitation, where the Pope instead of leading directly the Church, had to delegate most of his works due to his disabilities. It is a matter of choice of course. Blessed John Paul II chose to persevere to show us how suffering for the sake of the Lord is like, and our beloved Benedict XVI stepped down to show us what humility and virtue is like.


2. WYD (World Youth Day) 2013 : The World Youth Day has been scheduled to occur in July 2013. It would have been in 2014, but because it will be held in Brazil, which will host the World Cup event in 2014, it was decided to hold the World Youth Day a year earlier. As the Pope’s health has made doctors to advise him strongly against transatlantic and difficult journeys, which would have limited him from visiting any countries outside of Europe, or even Italy in the coming years.

In 2012, his visits had been limited to Mexico, Cuba, and Lebanon, with only two major visits as opposed to the usual four or five visits per year, a clear sign that the Pope’s health is increasingly frail to travel far beyond Rome. As the World Youth Day 2013 will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, it is also possible that our beloved Benedict XVI chose to step aside that a more capable and vigorous new Pope can go instead to the event, that the new Pope can fully lead the event without the disabilities that increasingly had debilitated our beloved Benedict XVI.


3. Asia, the Church in Asia : Although Pope Benedict XVI had been known as someone who is particularly very attentive to the problems that the Church is facing in Europe and the West in general, which resulted in his numerous visits to the countries mostly in Europe, but he has also made several visits to countries in Latin America and Africa. Many would have criticised him for leaving out Asia, as although Middle Eastern countries like Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Israel had been visited rather often in his short pontificate, but he had yet to visit South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia, where the Church, just as in Africa, had been growing very, very rapidly.

The Pope in fact, loved the Church in Asia, particularly the Church in China, which he had tirelessly worked at, in order that the believers in Christ there can be fully reintegrated into the One Body of the Universal Church, free from any form of external and governmental interventions.

Azerbaijan in Central Asia, was the last country in Central Asia visited by a Pope in 2002. But to truly look into Asia, we should go deeper into South Asia, that is India, and further east. The last time a Pope visited India and South Asia was in 1999 or 14 years ago, and the last time a Pope visited Southeast Asia was in 1995 (World Youth Day 1995, Manila, Philippines) or 18 years ago; and for East Asia, the last Papal visit was to Korea in 1989 or 24 years ago.

Several countries in Asia such as Singapore, Indonesia, Korea, Philippines, and some other Asian countries had also been graced with Papal visits only once or twice in the entire history of the Church, also owing to the recent expansion of the Church to Asia and that only beginning with Pope Paul VI, that the Pope began to travel again outside Rome and Italy after quite some time. Therefore, due to Pope Benedict XVI’s love for the Church, both in the elder Europe and the younger Church in Asia, and already that his debilitation had made him difficult to make transatlantic visits, including the upcoming World Youth Day in Brazil, but a travel plan to Asia would have made it much more difficult.

A younger and healthier Pope therefore will be able to visit Asia (South, Southeast, East Asia) perhaps as early as this year or next year, 2014. This is however not to say that an Asian Pope will be elected, just yet. The time has not come yet in this election for an Asian Pope. Only in the next election, which hopefully will be held in about a decade from now or more, that the first Asian Pope may be possibly elected.


In the end, it is Pope Benedict XVI’s love for God, and God’s people in the Church that made him to decide to step aside for the good of the Church and the good of God’s mission in this world. However, this is not at all interpreted that it will be permanently so or that such a stepping down will be customary for the Popes. The Papacy is not an office, and not an institution, which for example like the Archbishop of Canterbury of the Anglicans, which is rotated after every number of years in manner akin to the secular and the worldly prime ministers and presidents. No, the Bishop of Rome’s position, as Christ’s only Vicar on this world is far beyond that. Only the Pope himself can decide when and if he will resign at all, and only in extreme cases should this be done.

Let us all pray therefore for our beloved Pope Emeritus, His Holiness Benedict XVI, that God will continue to look after him in his retirement, that through his new life dedicated in prayer, he can lead the Church with the new Pope, his successor, whom we also pray for, to fight against the evils of this world. We also pray for those who attack the Pope, the institution of our Church, and those who attack the faithful in Christ, that first we forgive them, and ask the Lord to enlighten their hearts, that they will learn the truth about His Church and its teachings, that they too will believe and be saved through the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

May God bless all of us, bless His One and Universal Church, and bless the whole world. Amen!