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WATCH: Pope Francis praises saintly pioneers in education and matters of faith

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In general audience, pontiff cites two works of mercy: counseling the doubtful and instructing the ignorant

VATICAN CITY — It is a true work of mercy to counsel those troubled by doubts about the meaning of life or shaken in their faith, Pope Francis said on Wednesday.

Addressing faithful and pilgrims at the Wednesday general audience, in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, the pope continued his catechesis series on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Today he focused on two spiritual works: counseling the doubtful and instructing the ignorant.

The pope praised the men and women saints, and all Christians, who have dedicated their lives to instructing and educating children and youth.

Here below is the English summary of the Pope’s address.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Among the spiritual works of mercy, we now consider those of counseling the doubtful and instructing the ignorant. These two works are related and both can be practised daily in our families and communities. The Church’s mission of evangelization has always been accompanied by teaching and the founding of schools, since education promotes the dignity of the person and provides for the full development of his or her God-given gifts. Illiteracy and lack of access to education are in fact a form of poverty and injustice. Education develops our ability to think critically about ourselves and the world around us. By raising questions it also helps us to find satisfying answers. It is a true work of mercy to counsel those troubled by doubts about the meaning of life or shaken in their faith. Let us be grateful to all who devote themselves to this work through catechesis and religious education. All of us are called to support one another by our witness of living faith and generous concern, for these are eloquent signs of the love of God which gives meaning and direction to our lives.

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