Pope Francis says "Many male and female workers and many families live in difficult situations, aggravated by the pandemic...May the example and intercession of Saint Joseph help you..." FULL TEXT



Sala Clementina - Saturday, January 29, 2022


Dear friends, good morning and welcome!

I like to see mothers there, pampering their children. It's nice when they come with children. If they want to walk, let them do what they want; and if they are hungry, let them eat! They are the kings.

 I thank the President for his kind words and for introducing me to your work briefly. I greet you present here and all the members of the Italian Association of Leather Chemists.

I am happy to receive you, for several reasons. First of all because you are a very specific category of workers, who offer an original and characteristic contribution in the great “polyhedron” of global society. Your profession applies scientific and technical knowledge to an artisan activity that has an ancient tradition, both in Italy and in other countries, including mine, Argentina. As a young man I studied in a technical institute with a chemical orientation, and this brings me a little closer to your category.

In this very complex moment of economic and social crisis, I also take this opportunity to express my closeness and that of the Church to the world of work. Many male and female workers and many families live in difficult situations, aggravated by the pandemic. But the pandemic cannot and must not become an alibi to justify omissions in justice or security. On the contrary, the crisis can be faced as an opportunity to grow together in solidarity and in the quality of work. May the example and intercession of Saint Joseph help you not to give in to discouragement, to creatively enhance your talents and your great experience to move forward and open new paths. To this end, it is very important to bring together the wisdom of the elderly and the enthusiasm of the young. Let them meet, this is the secret! I imagine young people who are passionate about an original sector like yours, and need to find "old men of the trade", who have a lot to teach, and not only on a technical level, but also on a human one. For me, the challenge of this moment is the meeting between grandparents and grandchildren, bypassing the parents perhaps, but that is a key meeting and we must work so that the young meet the old. It is a challenge of this moment.

There is another aspect that I want to touch on with you because it is a critical point and I know it is important to you - your President also recalled this. This is the environmental impact of activities that, like yours, use chemicals to treat materials, in your case leathers destined to become bags, shoes and so on - so many things we use every day, and we don't think about work that there is behind it! Therefore, you too are called to make your specific contribution to the care of the common home; and you can do it just in the way of setting up your own work. For this purpose it is very precious to make association, because knowledge, experiences, as well as legal and technical updates are shared; and so we help each other to grow together in a style of social and ecological responsibility. And this is very important! Today we are more aware of ecological responsibility; we grew up in this, it's a great thing; we grew up on this.

Dear friends, thank you for this visit. I wish you all the best for your work and for the associative activity; I bless you and your families. And I ask you please don't forget to pray for me, I need it. Thank you!

Source: Vatican.va