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Pope Francis’ First World Children’s Day

Pope Francis’ First World Children’s Day: A Celebration of Hope and Unity

On May 25-26, 2024, Rome was abuzz with the spirit of youth, as it hosted the inaugural World Children’s Day (WCD) This event, spearheaded by Pope Francis, was a celebration of the potential and promise that children hold for the future of our world.

Saturday 25, Pope Francis met with 50,000 children from various countries at Rome’s Olympic Stadium to celebrate the first-ever World Children’s Day. The event focused on the theme of peace. During his address, the Pope emphasized that in children, “everything speaks of life and the future.” He encouraged the young audience to pray for children suffering from wars, hunger, and neglect. The motto of the event, “Behold, I make all things new,” reminded everyone that God brings new things into being. Pope Francis also engaged in a lively dialogue with children, answering questions about peace and how children can contribute to making the world a better place.

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The Pope then engaged in a series of questions with the children, starting from the many wars raging in several parts of the world. “Are you sad about the wars?”, “Is war a nice thing?”; “Is peace beautiful?” he asked, inviting the young audience to pray for children who suffer from wars, cannot go to school, are hungry, or neglected. Here the transcription of the dialogue between the Holy Father Francis and children.

Pope Francis then drew their attention to the motto of the event, “Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev. 21:5). “It’s beautiful because it tells us that God brings new things into being”, he said.

Finally, the Holy Father encouraged the children to move forth with courage and joy, which is “the health of the soul”, saying that Jesus loves them. He concluded by inviting them to pray the Hail Mary with him.

Sunday 26, in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis presided over Mass on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.

Second World Children’s Day will take place again in Rome in 2026, on 27 and 28 September.

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