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UNIV 2013, First Audience with Pope Francis

During Holy Week, university students from all over the world met in Rome to take part in the 2013 UNIV Forum, which is now in its 46th year. This yearly international gathering began under the encouragement of St. Josemaría, who wanted to infuse in young people a great love for the Church and the Pope.

On Wednesday March 27, the 3,000 participants went to St. Peter’s Square to accompany Pope Francis in the first general audience of his pontificate. After speaking about the meaning of Holy Week, the Roman Pontiff addressed some special words to the young people of UNIV: “I greet the university students who are taking part in the international congress organized by the Prelature of Opus Dei. Dear friends, you have come to Rome during Holy Week to strengthen your faith and find spiritual enrichment. I thank you for your prayers and affection. Through your presence in the university environment, each of you can carry out what Saint Josemaría Escrivá hoped for: ‘It is in the midst of the most material things of the earth that we must sanctify ourselves, serving God and all mankind.’”

In the name of all the participants, the president of UNIV 2013 presented the Pope with a DVD entitled: “What faith means when you’re 20. Young people in dialogue with St. Josemaría.”

Romana, No. 56, January-June 2013, p. 106.