Pope: "rediscover the importance of chastity"

 Pope John Paul II reflected on the importance of chastity yesterday at noon, on the day which marked the centenary celebration of the death of St Maria Goretti, (see ICN Saint of the Day). The Holy Father said: "What does this fragile but Christianly mature girl say to today's young people with her heroic death?" "Marietta, as her family called her, reminds young people of the third millennium that true happiness requires courage and a spirit of sacrifice, a rejection of any compromise to evil and a disposition to personally pay for fidelity to God and to His commandments, even with death." John Paul II underlined that this message "is very current," adding: "Today pleasure, selfishness and even immorality are often exalted in the name of the false ideals of freedom and happiness. It is necessary to reaffirm with clarity that we must defend purity of the heart and body because chastity 'guards' authentic love. ... Pureness of heart, like all virtues, requires daily training of the will and constant interior discipline. It requires above all assiduous recourse to God in prayer." "The numerous occupations and accelerated rhythms of life sometimes make it difficult to cultivate this important spiritual dimension. Summer vacation, however, which begins now for some, can become a propitious occasion to renew the interior life, if it is not wasted in dissipation and simple diversion." The Holy Father concluded by asking the Virgin Mary "to help everyone, especially adolescents and young people, to discover once again the value and importance of chastity in order to build up a civilization of love, as you sustained Maria Goretti in her trial." Source: VISi

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