Pope Francis, speaking about them at the General Audience on Wednesday, March 18th, said that "they bring life, joy, hope, even trouble." Children, he added, "also bring concerns and sometimes many problems; but a society with these worries and problems is better than a society that is sad and gray because it has become childless." The message of affection expressed by Francis, children, "a treasure for humanity and for the Church," have replied with comments and drawings, inspired by their typically "confident and pure gaze."
- "Children know how to smile: if you are angry and, near you, a small child begins to play, your anger is reduced. Or, if you take a bit of your time to have fun with this child, you will forget what has made you nervous, at least at that moment. [...] Even Jesus was a child: God has shown us that, before getting big, we need to go through the stage of childhood. I am very happy with what the Pope said, because there are some people who do not like children and beat them. But, from today on, I believe that some things will change, because these people have received the Pope's message, and perhaps it will change them."
(Carmel, Benin, has been living on the street for seven months now)
“Pope Francis reminds me of Jesus, he’s kind and never negative – he loves everyone!”
(Emma, Philadelphia - USA)
- He’s one with the people, very touching! As a grown man he still cares about kids – that’s amazing!”
(Liam, Philadelphia - USA)
“Our Pope wants adults to see the world through the eyes of a child because children recognize and believe in goodness, not evil.”
(Maddie, Philadelphia - USA)
“This man is a real People’s Pope – incredibly inspiring.”
(Dylan, Philadelphia - USA)
“It’s important for the World to know how Pope Francis values children – he thinks we are unique and that’s really cool!”
(Caroline, Philadelphia - USA)
“His speech was quite moving – most adults don’t think the way he does, he values kids’ opinions.”
(Ava, Philadelphia - USA)
“Powerful speech! While many children are deprived of special things, we are blessed with roofs over our heads, good food to eat and our basic needs are met – Pope Francis is just like Jesus! He sees the good in everyone and speaks for all.”
(John John, Philadelphia - USA)
Pope Francis’ words inspire adults to be more like children because children are the LIGHT of our lives and the FUTURE of our world and church.”
(Grace, Philadelphia - USA)
This Pope is really inspirational – he makes the choice to see good in everyone, he doesn’t judge people, his perspective is fresh and open. This speech made me think from my heart not my head – he’s a great man.”
(Connor, Philadelphia - USA)
- "The Pope recalled all the good things about children that adults sometimes forget."
(Thomas, 9, Milan - Italy)
- "The Pope's words made me start to cry, because they were very beautiful; he also made me laugh a lot when he said that some children think he's a doctor and cry."
(Camilla, 6 years, Milan - Italy)
- "The Pope is absolutely right. I am a child, and I experience these things every day. And it is also true that I rely on God and on the people around me. Every day, God tells me what is right and what is wrong. Although sometimes we make mistakes like everyone else, God always forgives us."
(Giovanni, 10, Milan - Italy).
- "Children laugh and cry spontaneously. I see that when I am animating in the oratory: the youngest, for whom I am big, often come to me to be pampered when they fall, when someone teases them, or when they have a fight with a friend. Or they smile, and they do smile a lot, as I had the occasion to see during the Peace March on New Year's Day 2015, in Turin, when we walked together with children from many countries around the world to the Porta Palazzo: there were many and such very different smiles there; and even those of children who had lost their baby teeth were beautiful, and there were smiles on the faces of a thousand different shades. Unfortunately, where I live, there are less and less children. That is why I hope that my sister Benedetta, who is getting married in a month, will have the joy of children: I cannot wait to hold them in my arms and see their smiles!"
(Maddalena, 14, Lodi - Italy)
- "That's right! We children bring joy: I think of how much tenderness and joy I feel when I see a small child, especially a chubby one!"
(Marta 11, Milan - Italy)
- "When we fight, we make peace fast; our minds are pure and we want to learn new things."
- "God has no difficulty being understood by us, and we have no trouble understanding God. [...] We laugh spontaneously and our smiles are like in the cartoons."
- "The phrase that I liked the most is when he said no one should ever scorn children."
- "I still remember the kiss you gave me; and, when you gave it to me, I felt love, joy and happiness in my heart; and, when I got home, I was immediately healed. With that loving kiss, you taught me to love others, and that I should never tell lies. I must also respect others, adults, parents and relatives. With that kiss you gave me Jesus, God and your love for others."
(Eleanor, 10, Rome - Italy)
- "Thank you Pope, you said wonderful things about children."
(Sofia, 10, Rome - Italy)
- "I am happy that you, Pope, spoke so highly about all children. [...] Thank You."
(Martina, 10, Rome - Italy)
- "A family without children must feel very lonely. [...] Children can give you joy, even though they are naughty sometimes."
(Anastasia, 10, Rome - Italy)
- "We children are sweet; we do not have a heart of stone but a heart of flesh, because we are younger and have less bad experiences than adults do."
(Mattia, 10, Rome - Italy)
- "It's beautiful to know that God is with us at every moment."
- Thanks, Pope, for recalling that [...] although we trust everyone, we must not be used and especially not deceived. Thank you for everything you do for all children, for those who are healthy and those who are sick. Anyway, I guess if a person were to dig into the bottom of his heart, the world would be full of love."
(Asia, 10, Rome - Italy).
- "Thanks for pointing out that we are important for the future."
(Elisa, 10, Rome - Italy)