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Pope Francis with children at a Vatican event in November (CNS/Lola Gomez)

The Church will celebrate its first World Day of Children in May next year, Pope Francis announced on Friday. Source: CNA.

Speaking in his Angelus address Friday to mark the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Pope said the Church’s first children’s day will be celebrated in Rome.

“And now I have the joy of announcing that on May 25 and 26 next year, we will celebrate the first World Day of Children in Rome,” Pope Francis said from the window of the Apostolic Palace overlooking St Peter’s Square.

“Like Jesus, we want to put children at the centre and care for them,” he added.

The Pope explained that the day, organised by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Culture and Education, will seek to answer the question, “What kind of world do we wish to pass on to the children who are growing up?”

According to Vatican News, the event was inspired by a 9-year-old boy named Alessandro, who proposed the idea to the Pope to have an international event like World Youth Day (an international gathering for young people ages 16 to 35) for younger children.

The Vatican is expecting thousands of girls and boys from all over the world to travel to Rome for the event with the Pope.

In November, the Vatican hosted an event with 7500 children from five continents in the Paul VI Hall as a prelude to next year’s World Day of Children.

Pope Francis previously established the Church’s annual World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly in 2021.


Pope Francis announces Catholic Church’s first World Day of Children (By Courtney Mares, CNA)


Pope Francis announces first World Day of Children (Vatican News)