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Pope calls youth to 17th World Youth Day

In his message for World Youth Day 2002 released by the Vatican on Tuesday, Pope John Paul II told young people that they are the "salt of the earth" and the "light of the world."

Catholic World News reports that the Pope's message, issued in seven different languages, indicates that the celebration of World Youth Day "has become an important part of your life and of the life of the Church."

The Holy Father encouraged young people to come to the 17th World Youth Day, to be held next year in Toronto.

He also exhorted young people to break away from the world of "hollow entertainment and passing fads," of "mediocrity and conformism," and make a serious commitment to Jesus Christ.

"In this secularised age, when many of our contemporaries think and act as if God did not exist or are attracted to irrational forms of religion, it is you, dear young people, who must show that faith is a personal decision which involves your whole life," he wrote.

World Youth Day 2002 (official site)