Pope invites children to teach world through their joy and purity
Addressing the young audience, the Pope expressed his gratitude to the children, those who accompanied them, and the organizers of the event, including Cardinal José Tolentino and the Dicastery for Culture and Education, as well as Father Enzo Fortunato, who made the event possible.
He also acknowledged all the other families and organizations whose contributions were essential to this event taking place.
Learning from children
Pope Francis began his address by acknowledging the theme as being a particular one, “Learn from children?” he asked. “Aren’t children the ones who should learn?”
He responded to this question by emphasizing the importance of learning from children, as they continually offer valuable lessons to the world.
The Pope described how children embody the beauty of life in its simplicity and the joy of being together, two gifts from God that should be cherished.
“We need to learn from you,” stressed the Pope. “I am always happy when I meet you because you teach me something new every time.”
Pope Francis then urged the children to proclaim together: “Life is a gift! God loves us! We are all brothers and sisters!”
A family gathering
The Holy Father went on to note that this gathering of children from all corners of the world was just like a reunion of siblings in a “big house” that Jesus has provided, symbolising the universal Church’s embrace to all.
He highlighted the importance of creating an environment where children, no matter where they come from, always feel welcomed, loved, and accepted.
Expressing his desire to personally greet each child, Pope Francis acknowledged that due to the large number present this would but be possible, but he did ensure that his words and blessings were extended to every child and, through them, to children worldwide.
Pope Francis then shared his compassion for those children suffering due to war, hunger, disease, climate disasters, and poverty.
The gift of life
The Pope encouraged his young audience to always remember that life is a beautiful gift, that God loves them dearly, and that it is a wonderful experience to be together, to communicate, to share, and to give.
He reminded them to pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary. “Our Lady will help you,” he said. “Always pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
The Pope then invited the children to come forward with their own questions, which ranged from how to care for the environment and do good in our world.