Pope Francis says "I also hope, dear brothers and sisters, that the Lenten journey, illuminated by the reflection proposed, may be an occasion for true conversion..."



Dear brothers and sisters from Brazil!

As we begin the Lenten journey of conversion towards the celebration of the Paschal Mystery of Christ, we are ready to hear the call of God who wants to lead us, through the penitential practices of fasting, alms and prayer, to a personal and renewing encounter with the Risen, in whom we have true life and of whom we must be faithful witnesses.

To help the faithful in this journey of encounter, the Church in Brazil proposes for everyone to reflect, in this year's Fraternity Campaign, the important theme of the relationship between "Fraternity and Education", fundamental for the appreciation of the human being in its entirety, avoiding the “culture of discard” – which places the most vulnerable on the margins of society – and awakening them to the importance of caring for creation.

Effectively, when looking at today's society, one can clearly see the urgency of adopting transformative actions in the educational field so that we have an education that promotes universal fraternity and integral humanism, as recalled in the invitation to a Global Educational Pact. : “Never, like now, has there been a need to join efforts in a broad educational alliance to form mature people, capable of overcoming fragmentations and contrasts and rebuilding the fabric of relationships in order to a more fraternal humanity” ( Message , 12/IX/19) .

At the same time that the responsibility of governments in the task of helping families in the education of their children is recognized and valued, guaranteeing access to school for all, the important mission of the Church in the educational field must also be recognized and valued: “Religions they have always had a close relationship with education, accompanying religious activities with educational, school and academic ones. As in the past, even today, with the wisdom and humanity of our religious traditions, we want to be a stimulus for a renewed educational activity that can make universal brotherhood grow in the world” ( Speech , 5/X/21).

I wish with all my heart that the choice of the theme “Fraternity and Education” becomes a cause of great hope in every ecclesial community and of effective renewal in Catholic schools and universities, so that, having Christ as a model for their pedagogical project , transmit wisdom by educating with love, thus becoming models of this integral formation for other educational institutions.

I also hope, dear brothers and sisters, that the Lenten journey, illuminated by the reflection proposed, may be an occasion for true conversion and that the seeds sown along this path may find in the hearts of the faithful the good soil where they can bear fruit in concrete actions in favor of a comprehensive and quality education.

Entrusting these wishes to the care of Our Lady Aparecida and as a pledge of abundant heavenly graces that help the initiatives born from the Fraternity Campaign, I gladly grant to all the sons and daughters of the dear Brazilian nation, especially to those who for a more fraternal education, the Apostolic Blessing, asking you to continue to pray for me.

Rome, Saint John Lateran, January 10, 2022.