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Love for schools

· Three hundred thousand from Italian institutes in St Peter's Square with the Pope ·

Not demonstration “against” something but “for” something. Pope Francis spoke clearly about the spirit with which he welcomed the invitation to preside at the large gathering of Italian schools, organized by the Italian Episcopal Conference. “It is not a complaint, it is a celebration!”, he yelled over the microphone, setting fire to the enthusiasm of 300,000 people in St Peter's Square which was transformed into “an immense classroom which extended to Castel Sant'Angelo”, as Cardinal Bagnasco described it in his greeting to the Holy Father.

And it was truly a celebration. The happiness of the children was contagious to the Pope who attentively watched the performance of actors, dancers, singers and athletes with great joy. “ I heard so many beautiful things, which have greatly benefited me!”, he said.

From the centre of the sacristy the Pope played the part of a teacher, explaining that St Peter's Square is not only an architectural jewel but also a sundial. He also played the part of a former student recalling his childhood, confessing his debt to his first teacher, who took him in at the age of six. “I have never forgotten it,” he said, “she made me love school. And then I went to see her throughout her life until she passed way at the age of 98.”

The Pope's address was a true act of love for education and a passionate witness of trust in in education.

The entire text of the Pope's address 

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 21, 2018

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