Pope Francis Prays with Children "Let's pray to the Lord...Lord Jesus, I ask you for the boys, the girls, the boys, the girls who are living under the bombs..." FULL TEXT
Dear students of the "La Zolla" Institute,
I am happy to welcome you and I extend a cordial greeting to you, your parents and your teachers, your grandparents: there are many grandparents here. It is very important for you young people and children to speak with grandparents: very important, to speak with grandparents. It's important. Your school of Christian inspiration is a precious reality for the Milan area and offers an appreciated educational service in collaboration with families. It is important to build an educating community in which, together with teachers, parents can be protagonists in the cultural growth of their children. And this is the educational pact, the dialogue between parents and teachers. There is always dialogue, for the good of young people, of children. This educational pact that has been broken many times, we must always take care of. Dialogue is also working together, as you do, parents and teachers. It is important to build an educating community, this is very important.
And to you boys and girls I would like to leave two words that come from my heart: sharing and welcoming.
Sharing and welcoming, let's say it together: “sharing and welcoming”. Only boys and girls, grownups don't! Say it: sharing and welcoming, everyone! [they repeat: sharing and welcoming! ”]. Here, learn that well. Sharing: do not tire of maturing together with the people who live next to you: school friends, parents, grandparents, educators, friends. There is a need to "team up", to grow not only in knowledge, but also in weaving bonds to build a more supportive and fraternal society. Because peace, which we so much need, is built by hand through sharing. There are no machines to build peace, no: peace is always made by hand. Peace in the family, peace in the school… And how handcrafted? With my work, with my sharing.
The second word: welcome. The world today puts so many barriers between people. And the result of the barriers are exclusions, rejection. This is dangerous if you discard it. Even in school - listen to this carefully, boys and girls - at school sometimes there is some classmate who is a bit strange, a bit ridiculous or we don't like: never discard it! Not even bullying: no, please, not bullying, nothing, we are all the same. Even if a companion is a bit unpleasant, poor fellow, I approach him with sympathy. Always build bridges, don't discard anyone, please! Don't discard. Because wars always start with waste. The result of the barriers are exclusions, rejection. There are barriers between states, between social groups, but also between people. And often even the phone you keep looking at becomes a frontier that isolates you in a world that you have at your fingertips. How beautiful it is instead to look people in the eye, to listen to their history, to welcome their identity; to generate, through friendship, bridges with brothers and sisters of different traditions, ethnic groups and religions. Only by doing so will we build, with God's help, a future of peace. I liked your motto - “Stupìti”: it's beautiful. Always amazed, see the beauty, amazed and grateful. But be careful, because there is a danger of becoming stupid: no, no! Amazed, not stupid. Understood? Only by doing so will we build, with God's help, a future of peace. I liked your motto - “Stupìti”: it's beautiful. Always amazed, see the beauty, amazed and grateful. But be careful, because there is a danger of becoming stupid: no, no! Amazed, not stupid. Understood? Only by doing so will we build, with God's help, a future of peace. I liked your motto - “Stupìti”: it's beautiful. Always amazed, see the beauty, amazed and grateful. But be careful, because there is a danger of becoming stupid: no, no! Amazed, not stupid. Understood?
Thank you for this meeting, thank you for your testimony. I pray for you and you, please don't forget to pray for me. And now I ask you to think, to make a thought: let's think of so many boys and girls, boys and girls who are at war, who are suffering today in Ukraine. They are like us, like you: six, seven, ten, fourteen years and you have a future ahead, a social security of growing up in a peaceful society. Instead these little ones, even very small ones, have to escape from the bombs. They are suffering a lot. With that cold it is there ... We think. Each of us thinks of these children, these girls, these boys, these girls. Today they are suffering; today, three thousand kilometers from here. Let's pray to the Lord. I will pray and you with your heart, with your mind, pray with me. "Lord Jesus, I ask you for the boys, the girls, the boys, the girls who are living under the bombs, who see this terrible war, who have nothing to eat, who must flee by leaving home, everything. Lord Jesus, look at these children, these kids: look at them, protect them. They are the victims of the pride of us, the adults. Lord Jesus, bless these children and protect them ”. Together we pray to Our Lady to protect them: Ave o Maria, ...
And so, in silence as we are, we receive the blessing of the Lord: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
And thank you for this meeting: thank you, thank you. And don't forget don't forget: amazed and grateful. All together: amazed and grateful.