Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic Church, met with a gathering of 7,500 children hailing from 84 different countries in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.
The focus of this heartwarming encounter was centered around the theme of “Let’s Learn from Boys and Girls,” during which Pope Francis shared valuable insights about the significance of embracing the innate joy and unity represented by children.
In his welcoming remarks, Pope Francis expressed his deep gratitude to the children, their companions, and the dedicated organizers who made this special event possible. He acknowledged the contributions of Cardinal José Tolentino, the Dicastery for Culture and Education, and Father Enzo Fortunato. Moreover, he recognized the crucial role played by numerous families and organizations in making this gathering a reality.
The Pope began his address by raising an intriguing question, “Learn from children? Aren’t children the ones who should learn?” He then answered his own question by highlighting the importance of learning from children, as they continuously offer valuable lessons to the world.
Pope Francis underscored how children embody the simple beauty of life and the joy of being together, both of which are precious gifts from God. He expressed his genuine delight in meeting with children and how they teach him something new each time they meet. “We need to learn from you,” the Pope stressed.
Continuing his message, Pope Francis invited the children to declare together, “Life is a gift! God loves us! We are all brothers and sisters!” He likened this gathering of children from diverse corners of the world to a reunion of siblings in a “big house” provided by Jesus, symbolizing the universal Church’s embrace of all.
The Pope emphasized the creation of an inclusive environment where children, regardless of their backgrounds, always feel welcomed, loved, and accepted. He expressed his desire to personally greet each child, even though the large number present made it impossible. Nevertheless, he assured that his words and blessings extended to every child and, through them, to children worldwide.
Pope Francis also conveyed his empathy for children facing various forms of adversity, including the effects of war, hunger, disease, climate disasters, and poverty. He encouraged the young audience to always remember that life is a precious gift, God’s love is boundless, and being together, communicating, sharing, and giving are wonderful experiences. The Pope reminded the children to seek the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary through prayer, saying, “Always pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
Towards the end of the meeting, Pope Francis invited the children to come forward with their own questions, creating a warm and open atmosphere. Their questions ranged from how to care for the environment to ways they could contribute to making the world a better place.
In this heartwarming encounter, Pope Francis conveyed a powerful message of learning from the innate joy and unity that children represent. He highlighted the simple yet profound wisdom that children offer to the world through their unbridled joy, love, and acceptance. The Pope emphasized the importance of creating a nurturing environment where children always feel valued and cherished, regardless of their backgrounds.
Furthermore, Pope Francis demonstrated his compassion for children facing various challenges, urging the young audience to remember the precious gift of life and the boundless love of God. Through this message of hope, he encouraged the children to pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary for guidance and support.
This gathering of children from around the world, under the welcoming embrace of the universal Church, symbolized the unity and brotherhood that transcends geographical boundaries.
In a world often filled with complexities, Pope Francis’s message served as a powerful reminder of the purity and wisdom that children bring to our lives and the importance of learning from their joyful and unifying spirit.