Who was history’s biggest ‘influencer’?

Who was history’s biggest ‘influencer’? January 27, 2019
Vatican Media

The Holy Father has the answer: 

Although Mary would not be considered an “influencer,” like many social media personalities, she still became the most influential woman in history by trusting “in the love and promises of God, the only force capable of making all things new,” Pope Francis told young people at the World Youth Day prayer vigil Jan. 26.

“Are you willing to be an ‘influencer’ like Mary, who dared to say, ‘Let it be done’?” he asked. “Only love makes us more human and fulfilled; everything else is a pleasant but useless placebo.”

Despite sweltering temperatures in Panama City, hundreds of thousands of young men and women made their way to St. John Paul II Park on the penultimate day of World Youth Day. They brought sleeping bags and tents, prepared to spend the night at the field — praying the rosary, making new friends — before celebrating Mass with Pope Francis at 8 a.m. Jan. 27. The pope did not spend the night, but returned later in the evening to the apostolic nunciature.

More on his remarks: 

“Mary’s ‘yes’ echoes and expands in every generation”, continued Pope Francis. And here he thanked a young couple for their witness in facing the “difficulties and risks” associated with the birth of their daughter after she was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. “Saying ‘yes’ to the Lord means embracing life as it comes”, said the Pope, “with all its fragility”. “It is through our frailties and flaws that the Lord wants to write our love story”, he said. “What a gift it is to know we have a Father who embraces us despite our imperfections”.

Pope Francis then thanked the young man who shared his story of how he dealt with drug addiction. The Pope spoke of how impossible it is for us to grow “unless we have strong roots to support us”: the roots of an education, employment, a family, a community. Without these we cannot “dream of a future”, he said. “Because dreaming of a future” means answering the question what am I living for, and who am I living for”.

To be an “influencer” in the 21st Century, said Pope Francis, “is to be guardians of roots”, of everything that makes us “feel part of one another”, that makes us “feel we belong”. This was the experience of the third testimony referenced by the Pope: that of a young woman from Palestine who discovered the faith two years ago at WYD in Krakow. “She found a lively, happy community that welcomed her and gave her a sense of belonging”, said Pope Francis, allowing her “to live the joy that comes from being found by Jesus”.

“Are you willing to say ‘yes’?”, challenged the Pope. “Are you willing to be an ‘influencer’ like Mary?”, he asked. “Only love makes us more human and fulfilled”, he concluded.  So do not be afraid to tell Jesus you want to be “part of His love story in this world”.


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