In this Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, published by the Holy See on April 2, 2019, Pope Francis addresses young people specifically, together with all the Church. “Inspired by the wealth of reflections and conversations that emerged from” the Synod of Bishops on Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment held in 2018, the Holy Father has included those proposals that he “considered most significant” (n. 4). The document is organized in nine chapters and deals with difficult issues such as migrants and abuse, but also focuses on the important themes of youth ministry, vocation, and discernment.
Pope Francis was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio on 17 December 1936 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a young man, he worked briefly as a chemical technician and nightclub bouncer before entering the Jesuits. He was ordained a priest in 1969, and from 1973 to 1979, was Argentina's Provincial Superior of the Society of Jesus. He became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, and was appointed a Cardinal in 2001. Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on 28 February 2013, Bergoglio was named his successor on 13 March. He chose the name Francis in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. He is the first Jesuit Pope, the first Pope from the Americas, the first Pope from the Southern Hemisphere, and the first non-European Pope in over 1200 years. Pope Francis has been noted for his humility, his concern for the poor, and his commitment to dialogue as a way to build bridges between people of all backgrounds, beliefs, and faiths.