VATICAN CITY, MAR 20, 2007 (VIS) - In a communique published today, the Pontifical Council for the Laity announced the forthcoming celebration of the ninth International Youth Forum, due to be held at Rocca di Papa near Rome from March 28 to April 1 on the theme: "Bearing witness to Christ in the world of work."

The forum will be attended by around 300 people between the ages of 20 and 35, all with a solid background of commitment in the Church and in the world of work. They come from around 100 different countries and have various work and ecclesiastical experiences. Also participating will be around 30 guests, including speakers and participants in round table discussions.

The characteristics of young people entering the world of work in the various countries ("young people and the world of work today") will be the theme of the first day of the meeting. Particular attention will be given to the sociological, economic and institutional transformations brought about by globalization, and the sometimes dramatic consequences thereof (human mobility, unemployment, frustration). Attention will also turn to creative and innovative capacities and potential, and the emergence of new professions.

The second day will be dedicated to a pilgrimage in the footsteps of the Apostles Peter and Paul, and to the discovery of the city of Rome which many of the delegates will be visiting for the first time.

"The significance of work for human life," especially in the light of the Church's social doctrine, is to be the theme of the third day. On the basis of John Paul II's Encyclical "Laborem exercens," attention will be given to the world of work in its entirety, considered as a world made up of human relationships where individuals have the right to self-realization in the exercise of their profession and where people learn to structure and unify their lives, rather than a machine to generate profit, regulated by competition and competitiveness and nourished by a consumer society."

"Announcing the 'Gospel of work' today" is to be the theme of the last day of the forum. Attention will focus on the spirituality of work, the state of pastoral care in the workplace, and the role of Catholic associations in achieving what St. Benedict called 'ora et labora,' the unity of an individual's professional and Christian life.

CON-L/YOUTH:WORK/...VIS 070320 (400)

Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account." (Matthew 5:11 ESV)

Protection of the Mother of God

Protected by your coming, O Mother of God, * the faithful people celebrate today with splendor, * and, gazing at your most pure image, * we say with compunction: * "Shield us with your precious veil * and deliver us from all evil * imploring your Son, Christ our God, to save our souls.” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin stands forth in the Church, * and with the choirs of saints she invisibly prays to God for us. * The Angels worship with the hierarchs, * and the apostles exult with the prophets, * because, in our behalf, the Mother of God entreats the pre-eternal God. (Kontakion - Tone 3)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God on October 1st.

Random Proverb

"My son, do not lose sight of these — keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul." (Proverbs 3:21,22a ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

When despondency seizes us, let us not give in to it. Rather, fortified and protected by the light of faith, let us with great courage say to the spirit of evil: "What are you to us, you who are cut off from God, a fugitive for Heaven, and a slave of evil? You dare not do anything to us: Christ, the Son of God, has dominion over us and over all. Leave us, you thing of bane. We are made steadfast by the uprightness of His Cross. Serpent, we trample on your head." 

St. Seraphim of Sarov