Pope Francis and the Call to Youth for a Future of Compassion and Hope
Education as a tool for change, humanity as a guide and an invitation to be ‘dream entrepreneurs’ for a more just and sustainable world
The recent meeting between Pope Francis and young university students at the Universidade Católica Portuguesa in Lisbon marked a crucial moment in the Pontiff’s constant call for a global change of heart and mind. The emphasis is on mission, mercy, humanity and a hope that transcends today’s challenges.
Francis’ message unfolds on several levels, but his main words are clear: be teachers of hope for the planet. But what does this really mean?
Mission: A Call to Solidarity
Francis urged young university students to see education not as a means to personal gain, but as a tool to build a more just, inclusive and compassionate world. Higher education is not a privilege to be enjoyed, but a gift to be given back. In this sense, Francis calls for a new ‘choreography’ that puts the human person at the centre, insisting on the need to be ‘entrepreneurs of dreams’ rather than ‘stewards of fears’.
Mercy: A Universal Sentiment
The Pope’s words on humanity, compassion and new opportunities resonate deeply. His vision of mercy is not confined to charity or pity; it is an active commitment to respond to the suffering of the planet and its inhabitants. Francis sees a future in which welcome, inclusion and hospitality are the norms, not the exceptions. In this vision, women are protagonists, not marginal figures, contributing with wisdom to care and coexistence.
Integral Ecology: Caring for the Planet and the Poor
The Pope does not stop at human mercy; he extends this compassion to the whole of creation. The integral ecology that Francis promotes parallels the suffering of the planet with that of the poor. Respect for the environment, therefore, is not just a matter of sustainability, but of justice and empathy. The invitation is for a conversion of heart that leads to a renewed anthropological vision of politics and economics.
Hope for the Future
The meeting in Lisbon was more than a speech; it was a dialogue and a passionate call for a new way of thinking and living. Francis sees in young people a generation capable of overcoming today’s challenges with the most advanced scientific and technological tools, without losing sight of the need for a holistic vision.
The Pope’s words are a call to us all. He challenges us not to settle, to seek, to risk, and to be masters of humanity and compassion. In the midst of ‘severe ecological destruction’ and a ‘third world war in tatters’, Francis’ call to study the Global Education Pact and address crises with mercy and hope is more relevant than ever.
The meeting concluded with the announcement of a new chair, ‘Economy of Francis and Clare’, dedicated to promoting the principles of Economy of Francesco and developing a social model that values people and the environment. It is a tangible sign that the Pope’s words are not just rhetoric; they are an invitation to action, a call to all of us to be teachers of hope for our planet.