CV NEWS FEED // Plans for the first-ever World Day of Children in May were presented at a Vatican press conference Friday.
Pope Francis announced World Day of Children following the Angelus on December 8, saying that “whoever is like a child belongs to the kingdom of God.”
“Children teach us the honesty of relationships, spontaneous acceptance, respect for all creation. Dear children, all of you, I am waiting to learn from you too,” he said.
According to Vatican News, Prefect of the Dicastery for Culture and Education Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendoça said that the event “offers children the possibility to become protagonists through moments of prayer, friendship, and formation.”
Mendoça said at the press conference that Jesus promised to be present when two or three are gathered in His name.
“This is what the children will experience next to the Holy Father, where there will certainly be room for conviviality, for a more playful space,” he said. “But the dominant elements will be prayer, adoration, and celebration of the faith, showing how children are not objects in the transmission of the faith, but are protagonists. Children believe in Jesus.”
Vatican News reported that Fr. Enzo Fortunato, coordinator of the event, said that preparations are already underway but that it is too early to reveal specific details. The event will take place on May 25-26 in Rome, but will also occur universally at the diocesan level.
Marco Impagliazzo, president of the Sant’Egidio Community, an organization dedicated to Catholic social services, said that World Day of Children is important in the context of ongoing wars today.
“At a time of war and a lack of concern for the environment, there is a need to give the young generation a voice, as the successful meeting in the Paul VI Hall with Pope Francis and thousands of children from all over the world on November 6 last year shows,” he said. “We need to listen to the children because their voice is a convinced and explicit ‘no’ to war and the destruction of nature.”
“The presence of these children will remind us that the world needs peace,” he continued.