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With coloured markers
and a great will to live

There are those who were drawing, crouching on the steps and those who were sitting on their mom's knees. Then there are those who – stretched out near the nativity scene – were painting on large white sheets of paper and those who were lying at the foot of their peer in a wheel chair. All of these little artists were drawing pictures of the Pope.

This was the scene in the Paul VI Hall during the General Audience on Wednesday morning, 13 January. The artists were participating in a pilgrimage to Rome organzied annually by the pediatric ward of the IRCCS Foundation, the National Cancer Institute of Milan. Francis met these special patients who valiantly fight their illness every day. There were 140 babies, children, parents, doctors, paramedics and voluteers in total. Together they brought the Pontiff a gift which will last the entire year. They had made him a calendar for 2016. They also gave him the portraits they had designed before the beginning of the audience.

At the Audience, Francis also received a precious Asian tapestry hand made especially for him. The tapestry (3x2,50 metres), which was presented to the Holy Father by Ali Rahímí, Wolfang Bandion, Carina Pringruber and Andreas Pacher in honour of the Holy Year, includes the phrase: “Mercy and love” in 10 different languages.

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St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 19, 2018

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