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Pope Francis with some of the 6000 children who attended the Vatican event on Monday (CNS/Lola Gomez)

In a celebration of life, peace, joy and harmony, thousands of children representing young people on every continent greeted Pope Francis during an event in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall. Source: CNS.

The event on Monday was sponsored by the Dicastery for Culture and Education and was attended by more than 6000 children from different parts of Italy and the world.

Dedicated to the importance of peace, fraternity and respect for others and creation, the event, titled “Let Us Learn from Boys and Girls”, focused attention on children’s simple and sincere desires for peace and harmony in the world.

“There is much to learn from you,” Pope Francis said. “I am always happy when I meet you because you teach me something new every time. For example, you remind me how beautiful life is in its simplicity and how beautiful it is to be together.”

“Two big gifts God has given us,” he said, are life and being together with simplicity.

The Pope encouraged the children to embrace their adolescence, which is “a wonderful age” and to make their thoughts, feelings and experiences heard by adults.

He asked them to remember all the other kids their age who are suffering from war, hunger, climate disasters and poverty.

“You know there are bad people who do bad things, they make war and destroy. Do you want to do bad things?” the Pope asked. After the children yelled, “No!” he asked, “Do you want to help?” to which they replied with enthusiasm, “Yes!”

The Pope cut short his prepared speech to dedicate more time to questions from the children, who asked him questions about climate change, wars, his friends, his work habits and what he dreams about at night.

“I don’t know what I dream because I am asleep!” he joked as the kids laughed. 


Pope encourages children to speak up, work for peace (CNS via USCCB)