· Vatican City ·

Pope Francis’ prayer intention for the month of January

That educators may be credible witnesses

13 January 2023

In his prayer intention for the month of January, Pope Francis prays “that educators may be credible witnesses, teaching fraternity rather than confrontation and helping especially the youngest and most vulnerable”. The video begins with images of teachers and students in schools around the world. “I would like to propose”, the Pope begins, “that educators add new content to their teaching: fraternity”. He explains that “education is an act of love that illuminates the path for us to recover a sense of fraternity, so we will not ignore those who are most vulnerable”.

The video then transitions to a scene showing a group of kids playing football. When another student asks to join them, they refuse and leave. A teacher then approaches the boy and teaches him some tricks with the football. “Educators”, the Pope says, “are witnesses who not only impart their mental knowledge, but also their convictions, their commitment to life”. He notes that they are fluent in the language “of the head, that of the heart, and that of the hands, all in harmony”, and that this harmony is what brings “joy in communicating” and what leads educators to “be heeded much more attentively” and to “become community builders”.

The video concludes with the boy who had been left out earning his peers’ respect thanks to his new football skills, which he would not have acquired without his teacher’s guidance.

Speaking about this month’s prayer intention, Fr Frédéric Fornos, sj , Director of the Worldwide Prayer Network, points to education as essential to promoting fraternity. He explains that “when we look at Jesus we learn that we can only communicate and transmit to others what we ourselves live. This requires coherence in our lives between what we say and what we do”. That coherence, he adds, is a grace the Pope is inviting us to pray for.

Available online at www.thepopevideo.org and translated into 23 languages, the video for the prayer intention for January was created and produced by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, in cooperation with La Machi Agency and the Dicastery for Communication.