About 160 children participating in the “Children’s Train”, promoted for the little ones as part of the “Cortile dei Gentili” (Court of the Gentiles) initiative, were received by Pope Francis at the Vatican this Saturday morning. With the little ones, some of whom live in conditions of personal or social fragility, François has engaged in a dialogue, answering their questions. For a Ukrainian child, the pope assured his will to go to Ukraine as soon as possible.
Adriana Masotti, Silvanei Jose – Vatican News
Pope Francis met this Saturday morning in the Patio de San Damaso, inside the Apostolic Palace, young people participating in the eighth edition of the “Children’s Train”, an event organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture within the framework of the larger initiative called “Cortile dei Gentili” (Court of the Gentiles). The children were accompanied by some adults and, after greetings from Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, Prefect of the Dicastery, Antonio Organtini, Director General of the Institute Sant’Alessio-Margherita di Savoia in Rome, in the presence of the children, and Massimiliano Giansanti, president of the Confagricoltura, who collaborates in the event, were the children who spoke to the pope, frankly asking him questions that they had in their hearts and, sometimes, suggesting something.
“My name is Sachar, I come from Ukraine. I don’t have a question, but a request: can you go to Ukraine to save all the children who are currently suffering there?” This is one of the children refugees, who has now found refuge in Rome, who addresses the Pope in this way, without tiny words, and Francisco replies:
“I’m glad you’re here: I think a lot about the children of Ukraine, that’s why I sent cardinals to help there and be close to everyone, but especially children. I would like to go to Ukraine; I just have to wait for the moment to do it, you know, because it’s not easy to make a decision that could do more harm than good to the whole world. I have to find the right time to do it. Next week I will receive representatives of the government of Ukraine, who will come to talk and talk about a possible visit of mine there: let’s see what happens”.
I know you travel to improve the world
The children are impressed to find themselves face to face with such an important personality as the Pope, who speaks to all the great people of the earth, who has traveled a lot, but who is also with the poorest and the youngest. They are curious to know what it means to be pope, if it is “heavy work” and how responsible Francis feels for his role.
Mattia asks Pope Francis: “I know that you have visited many countries abroad, especially poor countries, to speak with heads of state and also to pray for these countries, to improve them. But at your opinion, which country was What have you visited improved the most because of you?
In his response, Pope Francis explains that each country has its particularity, but the richest particularity of a country is its people. Each person is different, is distinct, has its own wealth.
There too: each of you has his own richness, the richness of his soul, because the heart of each of us, the soul of each of us is not the same: no! There are no equal hearts, no equal souls: each of us has our own wealth and this also matters for countries. In the countries I have visited, I have always seen particular riches: this here, this by the other… and that is the beauty of creation.
What does it mean to be pope?
How do you feel as Pope? Ask for another named Edgar. “The important thing is that whatever profession life places you in, you don’t stop being you”, you don’t have to be an artificial person, the pope replies, continuing:
“So how do I feel as pope? As a person, as each of you in your profession, in your work. Because I am also a person like you, and if I practice this profession, I must try to do it in the most humble way and in accordance with my personality, without trying to do things that are foreign to me.
But is it tiring to be pope? Catherine asked him again. Each task that we carry out involves a part of fatigue, answers François, but “God gives us the strength to carry out our own works” and we must carry them out “with honesty, sincerity and with work”.
David asks a question that the Pope loves so much: how does it feel to be so in touch with the Creator of the Earth, that is to say God? Remembering that God is with us is very important, says Francis, and feeling that he cares for us helps us do our job. And then he points out:
But the wrong thing is when we don’t want to feel close to the Lord, and our preference is to feel close to this, this, that, and push the Lord away. Not. The secret is: to feel the Lord near. And it accompanies us all our lives.