Fraternity is every child’s mother tongue

The “Children's Table” was a joyful and spontaneous moment at the World Meeting on Human Fraternity. Children responded enthusiastically to the Pope on the definition of happiness, peace, and friendship, before the he signed the "Children’s Declaration on Fraternity."

May 24, 2024

Participants in the “Children’s Table”. (Vatican Media)

By Jean-Charles Putzolu
After the moderator of the "Future Generation" roundtable announced the entry of the "scientists" to the Holy Father, dozens of children crowned with laurels flooded the synod hall.

Each of them glued a green leaf to the branches of an old dry tree in the middle of the room to give it life again and thus revive hope.

All this happened under the smiling gaze of the Pope, who found himself quickly surrounded by all these children. A bit of patience was required before they were seated.

Once silence had been restored, Francis engaged in a game of question and answer, asking, "What does happiness mean?"

The bravest attempted to answer: "For me, it's being all united, one family, God's family," said one; "peace," said another.

"I love you, Pope Francis," two children ventured.

The pontiff, increasingly amused, continued, "Where can happiness be bought?" "Happiness cannot be bought," confidently exclaimed a young girl. "We can be happy if we are in contact with God," replied another.

Seizing the opportunity, the Pope asked, "How can we get in touch with God?" "By praying," the children chorused, "and by praying, we can find peace," another young girl added.

The female voices dominated over the boys', but all provided pertinent answers to the Successor of Peter's questions.

Against war, they proposed unity, friendship, and sharing. At this point, it is useful to specify that they had worked on the subject by drafting, on behalf of the "children of the whole world," the "Children’s Declaration on Fraternity" which Francis signed in front of them after they read it aloud.

The “Children’s Table” was part of the preparation for the upcoming World Children's Day on May 25 and 26 in Rome. According to organizers, around 72,000 participants are expected.--Vatican News

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