POPE’S MESSAGE | Bangladesh, Myanmar youths are a sign of hope for Asia

Pope Francis waved during his Angelus address in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Dec. 3. Advent is a time to be watchful and alert to the ways one strays from God’s path, but also to signs of His presence in other people and in the beauty of the world, Pope Francis said.

VATICAN CITY — Young people in Myanmar and Bangladesh are a source of hope for a peaceful future in their countries after years of war and suffering, Pope Francis said.

As is customary, at his general audience Dec. 6, the first after his Nov. 27-Dec. 2 trip to Asia, Pope Francis reviewed his visit.

"In the faces of those young people, full of joy, I saw the future of Asia: A future that doesn't belong to those who build weapons, but to those who sow brotherhood," the pope said.

Pope Francis in Asia to promote reconciliation, recovery

VATICAN CITY-- Interreligious reconciliation and recovery from natural disaster will be major themes of Pope Francis' Jan. 13-18 visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines, according to the Vatican spokesman.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi briefed reporters on the trip Jan. 7, noting that it would be the pope's second time in Asia, following a visit to South Korea in August. Pope Francis wanted to give the region special attention, the spokesman said, because no Asian country had received a papal visit in more than a decade, since the pontificate of St. John Paul II.

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