Pope urges youth to read the bible

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The Pope is fond of the New German Bible for Youth.

In his prologue to a new German Bible for youth, His Holiness Pope Francis said that he was particularly fond of the version which contains testimonies of saints and young people, in addition to color photographs and illustrations. The edition has explanations to help young people learn and has a more modern layout. It was so inviting, the Pontiff felt, that it was hard to put down and one could read from the beginning all the way to the end without stopping.

You CatThe Vicar of Christ then warned about what would happen afterward – it would lie on a shelf gathering dust until it would be found by a younger generation who would then sell it at flea market. He urged readers of the new Bible version not to let it come to that, but rather ask what the Word of God wants them to do instead of just skimming through the surface as if it were a comic book. This was how one's life could be transformed into something beautiful, stressed the spiritual head of 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide.

He suggested that in addition to reading the Bible by oneself, it could also be a great activity to read in small groups of three or four, or even just two. It could be done outdoors, like at the beach or in the woods or in nature. Reading by the glow of candles would also be a great experience, added the Pope.

To those living in countries where freedom of religion is allowed, His Holiness asked them not to forget their brethren who did not enjoy the same freedom that they do. He said that there were more people persecuted today than in the Church's early days because of their faith. And their crime? They bear witness to Christ and wear a cross. In some countries, those who owned Bibles were treated as though they were in possession of hand grenades.

The Bishop of Rome also quoted Mahatma Gandhi, a non-Christian, who once remarked that Christians had with them a document that had the power to upturn the world, to usher in peace to a planet torn apart by war, while packing enough dynamite to blow it to pieces. Yet they gave it no more importance to it than a work of literature.

He concluded that if readers of the new YouCat (Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church) Bible wanted to make him happy, all they had to do was read it.

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