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HOW POPE FRANCIS CELEBRATES WORLD'S CHILDREN'S DAY MASS, OPEN YOUR EYES AND DREAM ... (295 hits)

For Immediate Release From Vatican News!

(A Ten-Minute Read)


Pope At Mass With Children: 'The Holy Spirit Accompanies Us In Life'

At a Mass in St Peter’s Square for the first World Children’s Day, Pope Francis says that "God created us, Jesus saved us, and the Holy Spirit accompanies us throughout our life." By Francesca Merlo

The final event of the first World Children’s Day – an event held at the request of Pope Francis, which yesterday brought together around 50,000 young people in Rome’s Olympic Stadium – was a Mass held in St Peter’s Square.

Addressing the children gathered, Pope Francis emphasised the profound unity and love within the Holy Trinity, describing it as a family. "We pray to God, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. How many 'gods' are there? One in three persons," he explained.

The Pope went on to ask the children gathered, “when we pray to God the Father, what is the prayer that we all pray?” They responded, “The Our Father", after which the Holy Father encouraged them to always seek guidance from God, the Father who created us all and loves us deeply.

Turning his attention, then, to Jesus, the Son, Pope Francis spoke of the importance of Jesus in their lives. “We pray to Jesus because He helps us, stays close to us, and even when we receive communion, we receive Jesus and He forgives all our sins,” he said. He then asked, “is it true that Jesus forgives everything?” and the children responded “yes!”

Pope Francis then went on to speak of the Holy Spirit. He explained that understanding the Holy Spirit might be challenging, describing the Spirit as the divine presence within us, received through Baptism and the Sacraments. “The Holy Spirit is the one who accompanies us in life,” he told the children, before encouraging them to repeat this same phrase together. He explained that the Holy Spirit guides them to do good and offers comfort and strength in difficult times.

Finally, the Holy Father spoke to the children about Mary. “What is the name of our Mother in Heaven?” he asked, and the children answered, “Mary.” They then recited the Hail Mary together.

Bringing his homily to a close, Pope Francis urged the children to pray for their parents, grandparents, ill children, and for peace in the world. “Pray for us", concluded the Pope, "so that we can go forward, all of us".


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Pope Celebrates Peace With Children Gathered In Rome For First WCD

Pope Francis asks children gathered in Rome’s stadium for the first World Children's Day (WCD) to pray for their peers who are suffering from war and injustice and encourages them to continue dreaming for a better future. By Lisa Zengarini

Some 50,000 children hailing from several countries around the globe gathered in Rome's Olympic Stadium on Saturday afternoon to meet Pope Francis and reflect with him on their importance in the world's future, as part of the first ever World Children's Day (WCD). Peace was the main theme of the event.

The Pope arrived at 4.40 p.m. on his popemobile and was greeted with applause and by the hymn “A Beautiful World,” sung by the Choir of the Diocese of Rome.

In children Everything Speaks of Life And The Future

He then addressed the young lively audience with a brief introductory speech in which he called for responses from the children.

The Pope opened his address by noting that in children “everything speaks of life and the future”, and by reaffirming that the Church, “as a mother”, welcomes them and accompanies them “with tenderness and hope.

He explained that he was inspired to convene the World Children's Day by the meeting he held with children in the Vatican on November 7 on the theme "Let's Learn from Boys and Girls" . “I realized that our conversation had to continue and extend to more children and young people,” he said.

Pray For Children Who Suffer From Wars And Injustice

The Pope then engaged in a series of questions with the children, starting from the many wars raging in several parts of the world. “Are you sad about the wars?”, “Is war a nice thing?”; “Is peace beautiful?” he asked, inviting the young audience to pray for children who suffer from wars, cannot go to school, are hungry, or neglected.
Pope Francis then drew their attention to the motto of the event, “Behold, I make all things new." (Rev. 21:5). “ It’s beautiful because it tells us that God brings new things into being.”, he said.

Continue to be joyful

Finally, the Holy Father encouraged the children to move forth with courage and joy, which is “the health of the soul”, saying that Jesus loves them. He concluded by inviting them to pray the Hail Mary with him.


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Pope Francis Invites Young People To ‘Joy And Authenticity’

Speaking to participants in the Vatican’s International Congress on Youth Ministry, Pope Francis says that “discernment is about being ‘real’ before oneself, before others, and before God.” By Delphine Allaire

On Saturday, May 25th, Pope Francis received participants in the International Congress of Youth Ministry, organised by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life.

The meeting brought together young people and delegates from episcopal conferences, associations, and various ecclesial movements.

Thinking about the Youth Jubilee in July 2025 and the World Youth Day (WYD) in Seoul scheduled for three years later, the Pope expressed his hope that these two universally significant events might “help many of the young, including those who are not ordinarily churchgoers, to encounter Jesus."

Christian Joy

While working on these major events, the Pope advised members of youth ministries to be attentive to daily life, to the ministry of “small steps, small numbers, simple words and actions, everyday decisions.”

According to the Pope, who will soon canonize the millennial Carlo Acutis, these less visible experiences deeply touch the heart and bear lasting fruit over time.

“Not to advertise my writings, but read Gaudete et exsultate!”, the Pope added, referring to his 2018 apostolic exhortation on the holiness of everyday life.

The 'Treasure' Of Discernment

The Pope also highlighted spiritual discernment, which he said pastoral workers - priests and religious, catechists, and young people themselves who work with other young people - must be the first to learn.

“Discernment,” the Pope said, “is an art that cannot be improvised, but must be deepened, experienced, and lived."

“For a young person,” he added, “to find someone capable of discernment is to find a treasure. In the journey of faith and the discovery of one’s vocation, a wise guide helps avoid many mistakes, much naiveté, many moments of bewilderment and ‘paralysis’.”

Accompaniment: Communal And Personal

The Pope said that discernment must be synodal, personal, and oriented towards the truth.

It must be synodal, because today individualism prevails, said the Pope. When people categorise everything according to the criteria “I like/I don’t like”, he said, this is “ugly individualism."

"In the practice of discernment, the Church places brothers and sisters in faith alongside us to walk a path together, not alone, and our inner maturation becomes much richer."

At the same time, discernment is personal. "In our world, everything is standardized and homogenized. Young people, however, need to be accompanied one by one. Each one is unique and irreplaceable. Each one deserves to be listened to, understood, and advised according to their age, human and spiritual maturity."

Authenticity

Finally, the Pope reminded his listeners that discernment is oriented towards the truth.

“In a society poisoned by fake news,” the Pope said, “where personal profiles are often tailored or falsified, where people create alternative identities, discernment represents for young people a path to authenticity: a way of emerging from artificial identities and discovering their true identity. Discernment is about being “real”: before oneself, before others, and before God.”

Pope Francis brought his speech to a close by insisting on the importance of continuing to listen to young people.

This should, he said, be “real listening”, not “half-hearted” or merely “window dressing”.

“Young people should be empowered, involved in dialogue, in planning activities, in decisions,” the Pope stressed. “They should be made to feel that they are an active and full part of the life of the Church.”


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A Grandfather's Embrace

Father Schmidt described the Pope's welcome: "The Holy Father welcomed us with a big smile and great joy, like a grandfather embracing his grandchildren."

During the audience, as Father Schmidt introduced the children and their tragic stories, Pope Francis softly responded with "terrible."

The children, some from a hospital in Lviv, Ukraine, included those who had lost limbs and parents. They were accompanied by their doctors, whom Father Schmidt praised for their life-saving work.

Symbols of Resilience

Among the group was Yana, a girl who ran the Boston Marathon a month ago with prosthetic legs.

Pope Francis noted that Ukrainian children often struggle to smile, yet saw in Yana a symbol of hope and resilience.

Father Schmidt also highlighted the darker side of their experiences, mentioning the horrific realities of children being sold for organs and parents trading their children as commodities.

A Celebration of Childhood

Despite their hardships, the day was a celebration for the children, who smiled at Pope Francis in a way only children can, unburdened by the world's ugliness.

Father Schmidt also mentioned the "Order of the Smile," an international award given by children to adults. Pope Francis received this award four years ago.

Father Schmidt brought the audience to a close by thanking the Pope for his hospitality.

He responded in Ukrainian: "Slava Isusu Khrystu", "Praised be Jesus Christ".


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Pope Francis Tells Youth In Rome To Be True To Themselves

Pope Francis meets with some 80 boys and girls of a Rome parish who are preparing to celebrate the Jubilee Year and chats with them about their life of faith and prayer. By Linda Bordoni

Pope Francis visited a parish in Rome’s periphery on Friday afternoon for a meeting with a group of boys and girls who are preparing to celebrate the 2025 Jubilee.

The Holy See Press Office released a statement by the Dicastery for Evangelization on Friday afternoon that said the meeting took place within the “School of Prayer” initiative, that prepares young Catholics for the Jubilee Year.

The Holy Father, who was accompanied by the Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, left the Vatican at about 4 o’clock in the afternoon and travelled to the Parish of Saint Bernadette Soubirous in an eastern city suburb.,

The visit was part of a “Year of Prayer” initiative, and during the encounter, the Pope answered questions put to him by the young people about their life of faith and prayer.

This meeting comes on the heels of his April 11 meeting with 200 children preparing for First Communion at the Rome parish of Saint John Mary Vianney.

A Surprise Visit

The statement revealed that the Pope’s arrival at the parish community was a “surprise” and that he was warmly welcomed by the young people gathered for the weekly meeting.

The group included catechists, youth group leaders, and scouts, who interacted with him and posed several questions.

Tiziano, for example, asked the Pope how to discern one's vocation.

“Each one of us must ask this question,” Pope Francis responded, “because the Lord has a plan for each of us. Everyone must try to understand what the Lord wants from us and ask Him.” Thus, he then shared his experience as a young man who had started working when he entered the seminary: “Ask the Lord in prayer: what do you want from me?”

Friendship

The Pope also emphasized the importance for young people to never walk alone and to cultivate friendship.

“Sometimes we can get lost in the labyrinths of life. The main thing to get out of a dark moment is not to walk alone, because alone you lose direction. It's important to talk about your situation,” Pope Francis said.

Get moving!

To a young man who confessed to not believing in God, the Pope highlighted the importance of undertaking a journey: “No one is condemned if they don’t believe. It’s important to be on the move. If I see a young person who doesn't move, who just sits there in life, who doesn’t like to move, it’s sad. But if I see a young person who falls into apathy and then moves on, hats off to him. Get moving for an ideal!”

Read the full article HERE!: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/20...


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Roberto Benigni at World Children’s Day: ‘Open Your Eyes And Dream'

Speaking after Mass in St Peter’s Square for World Children’s Day, the Italian comic says that the Sermon on the Mount is "the only sensible thing I've ever heard in my life." By Joseph Tulloch

The Italian actor and comedian Roberto Benigni is best known in the English-speaking world for his 1997 film Life is Beautiful, which won three Oscars.

But, in his native country, he’s just as famous for his monologues, which blend his trademark exuberance and humour with commentary on politics and literature.

All of these classic elements were present in the monologue Benigni delivered to a packed St Peter’s Square on Sunday, following Mass for the first World Children’s Day.

The Italian actor addressed the Pope – and the thousands of children who had gathered in the square – on subjects ranging from dreams and fairytales to doubt, war, and Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.

Below Are A Few Excerpts From His Speech.

Dreams

"I can see you here, full of dreams. You can feel this buzzing, a hive of dreams, a swarm …. Dream! It’s the most beautiful thing in the world. But I want to tell you a secret. You’ll tell me you know how to dream, you’ll say you just have to close your eyes, sleep, and dream. … No, no. I’ll tell you a secret – to dream, you don’t have to close your eyes. You have to open them! You have to open your eyes, read, write, invent."

Read the full article HERE!: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/20...











Posted By: agnes levine
Sunday, May 26th 2024 at 3:31PM
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