Each week we let Saint Pope John Paul II share meaningful signposts to spark socio-economic resolves through justice and righteousness combined with mercy and compassion; in short, love.

               “12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,

               clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

               __ Colossians 3: 12


Kamuzu Stadium, Blantyre, Malawi, Friday, 5 May 1989Yes, my dear young friends of Malawi, you are called to holiness. God has specially chosen you out of love to be his saints. He is calling you now as students, young workers, or seminarians.

Even if you are unemployed and have little prospect of getting work, you are still chosen in love to be a saint.

Even if you have experienced the darkness of great sin and have wandered into the desert of hopelessness, God is still calling you.

He, better than anyone else, knows that there is a vast reserve of goodness in each of you. He created you in his image and likeness.

But only you can say “Yes” to God, “Yes” to his love, and “Yes” to holiness.

The path to holiness is not easy, but that should not prevent us from facing difficulties with courage. The way to holiness is a journey, sometimes an arduous journey involving an inner struggle against selfishness and sin. We must be adequately equipped to make this journey. Saint Paul gives us a list of the “clothing” – the attitudes – necessary; he says: “You should be clothed in sincere compassion, kindness and humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3: 12).  

My dear young friends of Malawi: you want to see justice and tolerance extended to all. Cultivate these qualities yourselves! Allow the seeds of goodness and mercy to grow in your own lives first. Allow your gentleness and patience to develop to the full. To all young people, Christ says: “learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11: 29).  

Do not see present problems as the end of hope and the death of enthusiasm. God speaks to you and calls on you to contribute to the well-being of your country in a lasting way. Malawi now needs people who are strong in character, know the value of self-help, and yet have the humility to turn to Christ for the graces they need.

You have a word, “Chitukuko,” meaning “self-help.” The Lord has blessed you with youth’s strength, vitality, and creativity. He has blessed you with ways and means of achieving higher standards of living and education that were not available to your parents and grandparents. Use these talents to develop your character and what is best in life.


Excerpted from:

Apostolic Journey to Madagascar, La Réunion, Zambia, and Malawi; Meeting with the Young People of Malawi; Address of His Holiness John Paul II, Kamuzu Stadium, Blantyre, Malawi, Friday, 5 May 1989