On January 7, Pope Francis received the Youth Missionary Service in the Vatican in front of the audience. In his speech, Francis urged them to “never tire of building the Arsenal of Peace, even when the work seems finished.” According to him, it is actually still an open construction site.
In the history of Youth Missionary Service”a large type of tree that grows from a small seed», according to the Pope, there are many events and gestures that can be read as small and big signs of the living Gospel. Among all these initiatives, there is one that stands out for its extraordinary power at this moment in history, which the Sovereign Pontiff notes, “The transformation of the military arsenal of Turin into an “arsenal of peace”.“.
Arsenal of peace
The arsenal of peace, Francis says, is the fruit of God’s imagination, the power of God’s Word. This power we feel when we listen to Isaiah’s prophecy:They will make plowshares out of their swords, / They will make sickles out of their spears; / Nation will never lift sword against nation, / They will learn no more the art of war.“.
This is the desire of God, which the Holy Spirit has realized in history through his faithful people. It was the same for the Youth Missionary Service, says Francis, because thanks to the trust and goodwill of Ernesto Olivero, his wife and the first group of this association, who were its main founders, it has become the dream of many young people. . “A dream that moves arms and legs, animated projects, actions in the transformation of an arsenal of weapons into an arsenal of peace.“.
How to dialogue and how to meet
Intervening, Pope Francis explained that the arsenal of peace produces weapons of encounter, dialogue and welcome peace and invites young people to take interest in them.
“Young people can learn concretely how to meet, how to dialogue, how to welcome“. This is the way to go, the Holy Father emphasized, because “as we change, so does the world. As warlords force many young people to fight with their brothers and sisters, we need places where we can experience brotherhood.“, Francois continued.
The Hope of Brotherhood
Youth Missionary Service also “fraternal hope” and the desire that animates the hearts of the friends of this union “brother the hope of the worldThe Pope said. “In the Church and in the world, the encyclical is the ‘desire’ that I want to realize again through the Fratelli tutti (cf. n° 8). Francois added.
“You already share this dream, you are even a part of it, you contribute to giving it flesh, giving it hands, eyes, feet, giving it life. For this, I want to thank God with you, because this is a work that cannot be done without God. Because war can be fought without God, but peace can only be with Him“, then the Holy Father noted.
“Do not tire of building the Arsenal of Peace!”
Pope Francis also invited these young people not to get tired of building the Arsenal of Peace, even if it seems that the work is finished, according to him, it is in reality the construction site is still open.
Indeed, in recent years, these young people, the Pope said, have given life “Arsenal of Hope” Sao Paulo, Brazil, “Meeting Arsenal” in Madaba, Jordan, and at “Arsenal of Harmony” Pecetto Torinese, in Turin. “But all these realities: peace, hope, encounter, harmony are established only by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God. He is the creator of peace, hope, meeting and harmony“, the Pope declared, adding that the construction sites move forward if those who work there allow the Spirit to work internally.
The Youth Missionary Service was founded in Turin in 1964 by Ernesto Olivero with his wife Marie and a group of friends to fight hunger through justice, promote development and live in solidarity with the poorest.