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The children are watching

Photo of the Day | published on 03/31/17
Pope Francis Blessing a baby girl

Antoine Mekary / ALETEIA

Pope Francis salutes people upon arrival in St. Peter's square at the Vatican for his weekly general audience on March 29, 2017. © Antoine Mekary / ALETEIA

Photo of the Day: March 31, 2017

VATICAN CITY – MARCH 29, 2017 – Pope Francis greets a baby girl as he arrives to celebrate his Weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City.

In his Wednesday audience, Pope Francis continued his weekly catechesis, speaking of the importance of family in the development of faith. He stressed the importance of setting a good example for your children, who are always watching you as a model of how to behave.

“You might wonder what the point of this exercise is,” Pope Francis said to parents.

“Your children are always watching you; even if you don’t realize it. They are observing us all the time and taking it all in.”

Recalling the 1943 film by Vittorio De Sica, The Children Are Watching, he said: “Children watch us, and you cannot imagine the anxiety a child feels when his parents argue. They suffer! And when parents separate, they are the ones who pay the price. When you bring a child into the world, you have to be aware of this: we are responsible for making the faith of this child grow.”

“But do not forget,” he repeated, “when you argue, your children suffer, and they do not grow in faith.”

“Children are aware of our joys, our sadness and our worries,” he continued. They pick up on everything; they notice everything and, given that they are very, very intuitive, they draw their conclusions and take in their lessons. […] That is why one of the first things I would say to you is: take care of them, take care of their hearts, their joys, their hopes.”

“Your children’s ‘little eyes’ gradually memorize and interpret with the heart that faith is one of the greatest inheritances you have received from your parents and ancestors…. And if you hand on the faith and live it well, that is where the transmission happens.”

“Showing them how faith helps us to go forward and face challenges and tragedy, not with pessimism but with trust; this is the best witness we can give them,” he said.

Read more:
Pope Francis to parents: Take care of your children’s hearts

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