A very busy day – the Divine Liturgy, a visit with the Armenian Patriarch, the Syrian Orthodox Metropolitan, the Grand Rabbi of Turkey and the er…Catholics.
We pray he is sleeping well tonight. Tomorrow he offers Mass at Holy Spirit Cathedral and heads back to Rome.
Here’s the korazym account, translated:
An encounter with Catholic youths – leaning out the winow of the Apostolic Nunciature, and remaining there for five long minutes as 500 Catholic youths, almost all from Istanbul, sang and prayed.
It was an event of great simplicity – with the Pope smiling and later giving them his blessing.
The young people had prepared this prayer rally with songs, psalms and prayers – and so they did, for at least three-quarters of an hour in the gardens of the Nunciature.
Jubilation when the Pope showed himself, leaning out the window to be able to see them better. Later he told them that he would carry them always in his heart and would remember them every day in his prayers.
When the youths sang "Stay with us" in Turkish, he answered, "But the Lord is always with us."
Later, a delegation of less than hundred met him personally. They presented him with an album of photographs showing their activities in the past year – a walk for Catholic youths, the last Palm Sunday celebration (whichs wa also World Youth Day everywhere), their pilgrimage to Ephesus last summer, their various meetings at local level.
The album was accompanied by a letter from them telling him of their readiness to be witnesses for the faith even in the difficult conditions they have in Turkey.