· Vatican City ·

First World Children’s Day to be held in May

23 February 2024

The first World Children’s Day will be held on 25-26 May 2024. Pope Francis and children from all over the world are scheduled to participate in an event in Rome. The recently-instituted Day, organized by the Dicastery for Culture and Education, was presented at a Press Conference in the Holy See Press Office on Friday, 2 February. Among those speaking were Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça, Prefect of the Dicastery for Culture and Education; Fr Enzo Fortunato, coordinator of World Children’s Day and communications spokesperson of Saint Peter’s Basilica; and Marco Impagliazzo, President of the Community of Sant’Egidio.

Cardinal Tolentino de Mendonça told of their surprise when Pope Francis made the announcement on 8 December, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. He recalled the Holy Father’s joy during his 6 November encounter in the Vatican with thousands of children, where he candidly responded to their questions. The Cardinal Prefect of the Dicastery for Culture and Education said celebrations of World Children’s Day would likely become a regular event, acknowledging that the Pope desires to listen and encounter children.

The first event will be held on two levels, Cardinal Tolentino de Mendonça said: in Rome and universally at the diocesan level. “An event like this”, he said, “offers children the possibility to become protagonists through moments of prayer, friendship, and formation”.