Catholic Archbishop in Kenya Urges Young People to “live according to the Beatitudes”

Archbishop Philip Subira Anyolo in procession during the Annual Youth Mass in the Archdiocese of Nairobi on 19 November 2022. Credit: ACI Africa

The Archbishop of Nairobi has encouraged young people under his pastoral care to strive to “live according to the Beatitudes”, which he described as the identity of Christians.

Speaking during the Annual Youth Mass in the Archdiocese of Nairobi on November 19, Archbishop Philip Subira Anyolo also encouraged young people to emulate the Saints.

“I encourage you to live according to the Beatitudes,” Archbishop Anyolo said during the Eucharistic celebration at St. Mary’s Msongari grounds that the Youth Serving Christ (YSC) of the Archdiocese of Nairobi organized.

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He added, “In the Bible we are told that God always gathered his people, Christ gathered his followers to teach them the way to salvation. Christ gathered his people, (and) taught them the Beatitudes.”


The Beatitudes are the eight proverb-like proclamations, which Jesus recounted in the Sermon on the Mount (the Gospel according to Matthew), and in the Sermon on the Plain (the Gospel according to Luke).

The Eight Beatitudes of Jesus (Matthew 5:3-10)

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Credit: ACI Africa

Archbishop Anyolo said that the “Beatitudes are qualities that are wonderful in one’s life” and added, “These qualities guide you not only towards God, but towards one another as we live together as brothers and sisters and be useful, bearing fruits.”

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These Beatitudes, the Kenyan Archbishop continued during the November 19 event, “are very important as we gather here to share so that our Church may grow, your intentions and desires may be fulfilled and God’s will, will be done in your life.”

“The things that Christ proposes in the Beatitudes are things that we cannot buy; they are very cheap, but they are very challenging to live,” the Catholic Archbishop who has been at the helm of Nairobi Archdiocese since November 2021 said.

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For example, he went on to say, “good friendship is something you cannot buy but it is something God gives you as a gift. It is up to you to accept or to refuse.”

Archbishop Anyolo further encouraged young people “to be serious in Church, attending meetings at the Parish level, Deanery level and at every level so that you may build wonderful friendships.”


The 66-year-old Kenyan Archbishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in February 1996 as the Local Ordinary of Kenya’s Kericho Diocese also urged young people to emulate Saints.

Archbishop Anyolo greeting youth leaders from different deaneries in Nairobi Archdiocese. Credit: ACI Africa

“In the Catholic Church we have many Saints who have lived this life when God made friendship with them and they discovered how to live this friendship with Him,” he said, and added, “Saints teach us a lot of life virtues. Your names are denotations of Saints.”

“We ask God to give us people in our present life who from among us we can learn to live the way God wants us to live,” he said.

He added, “If we don’t choose good principles of life, if we don’t stand for anything that makes us good young people in society, you can fall for anything that comes your way,” Archbishop Anyolo said during the November 19 Holy Mass.

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Credit: ACI Africa

When God loves humanity, he said, “He gives it youthfulness like He gave Jesus Christ, and the way humanity gives thanks to God is to take care of our fellow brothers and sisters.”

“You have the Church and professionals at your disposal to guide you in a lovely manner, listen to them, follow their example and make a difference,” he said, adding, “As young people, God wants you to use your energy in serving Him the best way.”

Making reference to the beatification of the Venerable Servant of God Maria Carola Cecchin, Archbishop Anyolo said, “Recently we went to Meru to pray that a young person who was almost your age, who lived a certain life that God was pleased with is in the process of canonization.”

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“In the Church in Kenya, and in the Archdiocese of Nairobi we want to see such examples,” he added.

He urged young people to “strive to find an example of life amongst ourselves which we can emulate as we live as young Christians of God.”

“May God bless you in all your endeavors so that you may be his beloved sons and daughters,” Archbishop Anyolo implored during the November 19 Holy Mass attended by young people from all 14 Deaneries of Nairobi Archdiocese.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.