HUNDREDS of boys and girls from more than 70 Catholic schools throughout the Valencia region enjoyed a videocall with Pope Francis on Thursday (May 20).

The virtual meeting took place in the Levante UD football stadium in Valencia city, where the young faithful gathered to shout as one voice ‘Benvingut, Francisco!’ (‘Welcome, Francis!’).

The Pope then appeared on a huge screen in the stadium to take part in the inauguration of the Valencia headquarters of the international Scholas Ocurrentes educational project promoted by the Holy Father himself, aimed at encouraging meetings between young people from all over the world.

Several religious, political and education dignitaries were also present at the event, including Cardinal Antonio Cañizares and regional President Ximo Puig.

Pope Francis at the Vatican
Pope Francis at the Vatican

Speaking from the Vatican, Pope Francis pointed out the importance of being aware of one’s origins and history, as well as praising sport and play as vital for personal and social development.

President Puig highlighted the ‘responsibility and generosity’ of young people in the Valencian Community, who have prioritised the health and safety of their grandparents before their own interests, which has enabled the region to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

He also referred to the sanitary and immigration crises by saying that ‘fraternity’ is vital to overcome all pandemics, including ‘poverty, inequality and xenophobia’.

Visit https://www.scholasoccurrentes.org/ for more information on the Scholas Ocurrentes project.

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